It’s all about the silver lining for Hackney’s Idowu
Triple jumper is content with second-place finish at World Championships
Defending champion Phillips Idowu failed to walk the walk in Korea’s Fashion City – but he’s still confident he’ll be the king of the runway at London 2012.
Triple-jumper Idowu arrived in Daegu with the World and European titles to his name and a heavy favourite for gold, but American Christian Taylor clearly hadn’t read the script.
With Idowu poised to take the gold – with a season’s best leap of 17.70m to his name – the 21-year-old American promptly wrestled the spotlight back, leaping to a world-leading 17.96m to take gold.
Idowu was forced to settle for silver with another American youngster Will Claye, 20, snapping at the 32-year-old’s heels with bronze.
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Another young pup, European indoor champion Teddy Tamgho was absent from South Korea with injury, but Idowu insists he’s not concerned by the new crop.
“I’m not worried about the younger guys coming through,” said Idowu, who improved to 17.77m in the fourth round.
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“After the European Championships last year I made a plan for London 2012 and it wasn’t a year-to-year approach, we were using it as an 18-month plan.
“It’s moving in the right direction. I got some solid jumps out and I am going to build on them.
“There is always going to be people coming through.
“My whole career I have had massive head-to-heads with Jonathan Edwards, Nelson Evora, Teddy Tamgho and now these guys, so I’m used to going out there and having to work hard to win my gold medals.
“I am blessed I got a silver, I can’t complain.”
Ironically Idowu was the more consistent performer on the last evening of action in Daegu, with five of his six efforts better than Taylor’s.
But the American’s fourth jump, which secured him fifth place on the all-time list, ultimately settled it, and again left Idowu to defend himself against question marks over his London credentials.
“I was pleased with my series, I thought I had more in my legs but it never quite came around,” said Idowu – whose best-ever leap of 17.81m is 15cm shy of Taylor’s winning distance.
“I’m happy with what I’ve got. It’s not what I came for but I’ll take it.”
Despite not successfully defending his World title of two years ago, Idowu remained content with his second-place finish.
“There’s no way I was going to be down today because it’s my daughter D’Karma’s fourth birthday.
“I spoke to her beforehand and told her I am coming home tomorrow. Daddy has got you a silver medal. Love you baby.”
“And this time next year she’ll have a gold”.
Idowu also revealed that he is happy with the progress he is making and believes that he is on the right track for next year’s Games in his home town.
“I have always said that this World Championships is a stepping stone to next year’s Olympics, so I’m pleased.
“Everything I do is in the lead-up to the Olympics,” he said. “This just falls in the middle of my 18-month plan.
“I’ve worked at jumping well at this meet, but it’s not the ultimate goal. The ultimate goal is the Olympics.”
Phillips Idowu was selected for the Aviva GB&NI Team at the World Championships in Daegu. Aviva’s support, both at home and abroad, is helping the team prepare to compete at their best. To find out more, go to aviva.co.uk/athletics or follow us on Twitter @AvivaAthletics.