Hackney’s Phillips Idowu holds off French rival to win Diamond League meeting

Triple-jumper records 17.54m leap in Birmingham

Hackney-born triple jumper Phillips Idowu showed his class on Sunday, as he won the Diamond League meeting in Birmingham.

Idowu beat off competition from his French rival Teddy Tamgho to jump 17.54 metres in the third round to win the event, which was littered by no-jumps caused by the wet conditions.

And the triple jumper’s timing couldn’t be more perfect with the World Championships to be held in South Korea next month.

Idowu’s rival Tamgho has out-jumped the Hackney athlete’s best ever mark on six occasions, most recently with his massive 17.91m jump in Lausanne two weeks ago.

However, Britain’s reigning World and European champion produced his 17.54m leap as Tamgho no-jumped three times and failed to get close to 17m in his three attempts that were legal.

“It was a funny competition today,” said Idowu, who extended his lead in head-to-head contests with the young Frenchman to 7-3 after the competition.

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“For me the main thing is that I’m consistent.

“In pretty much all my competitions this year I’ve been around 17.50m so it looks good - if I am consistent around the time of the Worlds then hopefully I can find another 15cm.”

Idowu is set to travel to South Korea next month as the defending champion but he admits that his duel with Tamgho could be a major obstacle.

“All I can do is to come out, keep performing well and keep winning.

“But what happens now is the most important thing.

“I need to defend my World title which is going to be very difficult.

“I don’t really feel that I’ve achieved everything I want to achieve.

“In terms of scores between me and Tamgho this season it is 2-1 to me now.

“Hopefully I can keep racking that up into the World Championships.

“I really wanted to win this one – it’s massively important to me, it’s always important to perform well in front of a home crowd.”

However, on Monday Idowu was back to his usual routine as he reflected on his achievement.

“Yesterday I was a winner. Today I’m daddy making toast and watching cbeebies,” he tweeted.

Despite finishing in fifth place, Tamgho, whose best jump of the night was 16.74m, declared that he was ‘close to doing something amazing’.

“I lost but I’m very happy because I had two jumps that were very, very, very long,” he said.

“In the next competition I can get a long one.

“I’m not worried about today as I am in good shape.”