Idowu and Fifton lead the way in British win

PUBLISHED: 17:51 26 June 2008 | UPDATED: 13:23 05 October 2010

By JONATHAN CLEGG PHILLIPS Idowu leapt to triple jump victory in the European Cup at Annecy as the Great Britain team equalled a best overall performance by claiming nine wins last weekend. Olympic hopeful Idowu took gold with three jumps of over 17m on


PHILLIPS Idowu leapt to triple jump victory in the European Cup at Annecy as the Great Britain team equalled a best overall performance by claiming nine wins last weekend.

Olympic hopeful Idowu took gold with three jumps of over 17m on Sunday afternoon as the British men's team celebrated winning the competition for a fifth time at the Parc des Sports.

Rikki Fifton had helped Britain take an overnight lead the previous day by anchoring the sprint relay team to a surprise triumph in the 4x100m.

Fifton, the Victoria Park and Tower Hamlets sprinter, had crossed the line second but the British quartet were elevated to first following the disqualification of the German team for stepping out of lane.

It was the first time that the foursome of Christian Malcolm, Tyrone Edgar, Marlon Devonish and Fifton (inset) had raced together but the team ran strongly with smooth exchanges to finish in 38.48secs.

The outcome has raised Fifton's hopes of making the Olympic relay team later this year.

Those prospects also received a boost when he equalled his season's best time of 10.32secs in Saturday's 100m B race - the third fastest time in the heats.

Idowu remains a certainty to be selected for Beijing and his victory on a scorching Sunday afternoon suggests he can look forward to entering the Bird's Nest Stadium in Beijing as a gold medal favourite.

The 29-year-old, a former pupil at Raine's Foundation School in Bethnal Green, recovered from an awkward opening jump to lead the competition from the second round and confirm his victory with 17.46m.

Idowu was forced to come from the back of the field to secure the triumph after tripping on his first attempt and recording an awful opening mark of 15.71m.

"I had a nice hop but in the step [phase] I clipped my left calf," Idowu said of a farcical first jump that catapulted him up into the air.

Before his second attempt, he asked the enthusiastic crowd to calm down and not clap as he prepared to dash along the runway.

Moments later the British supporters were roaring with approval as Idowu flew ahead of his rivals by clearing 17.29m.

He rounded off a polished performance with a final effort of 17.13m but Idowu revealed that his second jump had been the key.

"I do thrive on crowd participation but I had to make sure I got a valid jump in," Idowu said.

There was disappointment for Victoria Park and Tower Hamlets athletes in the England Under-23 and Under-20 AAA championships at Bedford last weekend.

Leevan Yearwood was forced to settle for third in the Under-23 100m final despite a season's best time of 10.45secs.

Hamim Lubega finished third in his Under-23 400m heat in 48.80secs but was unable to improve on that time as he finished sixth in the semi-finals in 49.54secs.

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