Phillips Idowu is back with a bang at British Grand Prix
PUBLISHED: 16:24 02 September 2009 | UPDATED: 14:47 05 October 2010
Phillips Idowu landed back in Britain with splash after winning the Aviva Grand Prix triple jump at rain-sodden Gateshead
Phillips Idowu landed back in Britain with splash after winning the Aviva Grand Prix triple jump at rain-sodden Gateshead on Monday.
The newly-crowned world champion jumped 17.32m - way beneath the personal best that he set when winning gold in Berlin - but still 28cm ahead of his nearest contender.
The former Raine's Foundation School pupil endured a subdued start as he struggled to contend with the soggy track, and launched into his first jump an entire metre behind the board.
His next jump, 16.95m, left him in second spot behind Bulgaria's Momchil Karailiev, but the 30-year-old pulled out the stops with his final effort to win the competition.
A few days earlier Idowu had outlined his aim to leave a further mark on British athletics by becoming only the third person to jump beyond 18m - ideally at the 2012 Olympics in London.
"Eighteen metres is the magical barrier. I'd like to be one of the few people in the world to have ever done that," said Idowu, whose fellow Briton Jonathan Edwards is the world record holder with an astonishing best of 18.29m.
"If you looked at that jump [17.73m in Berlin], I was 20cm behind the board anyway so without doing anything, if I just remain in the same kind of shape as I was then and don't try and improve, don't try and make any adjustments, that puts me up out to 17.94m, which is a distance I don't think anyone's jumped since Jonathan Edwards.
"That would be definitely in contention for a medal or gold in London.
"I've got three more years of work, three more years of training, three more years of competition to try and perfect my craft and hopefully if I improve then I should be looking towards an 18-metre jump."
Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets sprinter Rikki Fifton found the going tough in a fiercely competitive 200m final, finishing sixth.
The 24-year-old dipped home in 21.38secs over half a second behind the American winner Shawn Crawford and Wallace Spearmon in third, with Briton Marlon Devonish in fourth.
Fifton also finished fourth in the 100m B race, running a below par 10.58secs in a race won by his Great Britain team-mate Craig Pickering in 10.32secs.
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