Idowu soars to the front for today's final

PUBLISHED: 11:22 21 August 2008 | UPDATED: 13:33 05 October 2010

By JONATHAN CLEGG PHILLIPS Idowu cemented his position as red hot favourite for today s Olympic triple jump final after sailing through qualifying for the event this week - and he has now set his sights on beating Jonathan Edwards world record. Idowu,


PHILLIPS Idowu cemented his position as red hot favourite for today's Olympic triple jump final after sailing through

qualifying for the event this week - and he has now set his sights on beating Jonathan Edwards' world record.

Idowu, Britain's best bet for a second athletics gold in Beijing, made a perfect start in his bid to land the title as he needed just one leap on Monday to book his place in the final.

Former Raine's Foundation School pupil Idowu landed a jump of 17.44m with his first effort in qualifying - a full 34cm further than the required distance.

His mark, the longest ever achieved in China, was unsurpassed by any of his rivals for the title.

By reaching the final at the first attempt, Idowu cast off memories of Athens 2004, when he produced three no-jumps in qualifying and failed to advance to the final.

The 29-year-old developed a reputation for failing to perform on the big stage following his dismal performance four years ago but he has come on in leaps and bounds since then.

This has been Idowu's year and he appears destined for victory today.

He won the world indoor title in Valencia in March and has not been beaten on the European circuit this summer.

He has also shown on many occasions that he has developed the technique and mentality to respond to any situation and produce the big jumps that win competitions.

Idowu leads the world rankings with the 17.58m he jumped at the Olympic trials in Birmingham last month and has seen off all challengers ahead of the Games.

But he insists that only by taking gold and beating former Olympic champion Edwards' world record of 18.29m will he finally be recognised as the country's best triple jumper.

"My priority is Olympic gold. I don't want to look back at the end of the year with any regrets about what I've done," said Idowu.

"But I know I will always be No2 until I have done what Jonathan Edwards has done. But I don't mind that - it means there's a target and something to aim at.

"I want to be the best and be seen as No.1. I know he's retired now, but I have to surpass what he's done in the past. Sometimes I'll land at 17.50m and think about him jumping 18.29m. But that's got to be my aim and my target."

Edwards, who watched Idowu soar into the final from his BBC commentary position, is one of the fiercest critics of his former rival but he believes Idowu is capable of setting a new benchmark for the event in China.

He said: "Phillips was nowhere near flat out [on Monday] and there appears much more to come.

"I thought Phillips handled the pressure incredibly well.

"If you think back over the last few years, you were not sure which Phillips would turn up. Now there is no doubt.

"He looks in fantastic shape. He's a lot more athletic and agile and he's a lot more in control of his technique.

"This is a man who is favourite for a gold medal in Beijing. That's a huge pressure on his shoulders.

"I know all about that. It does weigh heavy but he has been lapping it up.

Latest East London Sports News

Yesterday, 16:00

Sporting Bengal United manager Imrul Gazi is looking to cause an upset in Walthamstow's title race this weekend.

Yesterday, 12:30

West Ham Women's manager Matt Beard is facing a selection headache for his side's trip to Bristol City in the Super League, writes Jacob Ranson.

Yesterday, 09:00

A healthy competition is building among the Leyton Orient squad ahead of their League Two clash with Bradford City this weekend, writes Jacob Ranson.

Thu, 14:00

East London's women produced a clean sweep of seven wins in their latest set of fixtures at the weekend.

Thu, 12:00

West Ham Women manager Matt Beard was pleased to hand a number of players vital minutes as they cruised to a 7-0 victory over Crystal Palace in the Continental Cup.

Continental League Cup: West Ham Women 7 Crystal Palace 0

Wed, 14:00

Sporting Bengal United manager Imrul Gazi was pleased to hand a number of youngsters another chance to impress in their 1-1 draw with Clapton.

Wed, 12:00

Bethnal Green's Repton Boxing Club had double reason to cheer at the England Boxing Women's Winter Box Cup at Guildford Spectrum.


Riverside flats to let are coming on the market in East London - at highly competitive rents. Too good to be true? A not-for-profit landlord explains how it works…

It's now just under a month since All Points East took over Victoria Park with two weekends of world-class music and a programme of free community events.

Curated by AEG Presents, All Points East is bringing an impressive line-up of multi-flavoured music to Victoria Park from May 24-26 and May 31-June 2.

Most read sport

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Most Read

Latest from the East London Advertiser

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists