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Phillips Idowu receives top European athlete award

PUBLISHED: 17:33 07 October 2009 | UPDATED: 15:00 05 October 2010

Great Britain's Phillips Idowu reacts after winning the men's triple jump final of the 2009 IAAF Athletics World Championships on August 18, 2009 in Berlin.  AFP PHOTO / OLIVIER MORIN (Photo credit should read OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images)

Great Britain's Phillips Idowu reacts after winning the men's triple jump final of the 2009 IAAF Athletics World Championships on August 18, 2009 in Berlin. AFP PHOTO / OLIVIER MORIN (Photo credit should read OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images)

2009 AFP

Phillips Idowu has been crowned European Athlete of the Year following his World Championship triumph in August

Phillips Idowu has been crowned European Athlete of the Year following his World Championship triumph in August.

Idowu ended his long wait for a first major title by taking triple jump gold in Berlin with a personal best of 17.73 metres.

The former Raine's Foundation star also got the better of Portuguese rival Nelson Evora, who had robbed Idowu of Olympic glory last year.

The 30-year-old had gone to China as favourite for the triple jump title, but was forced to settle for silver in Beijing as Evora snatched gold by 5cm.

Yet Idowu gained his revenge 12 months on after finally breaking the personal best he established in 2002 to secure an emotional victory and capture the world crown.

His achievement was recognised on Friday when he received the prestigious award after topping a poll of experts, fans, media and athletics federations.

Idowu is the first Briton to win the award since Dwain Chambers in 2002 and will be presented with his prize at a ceremony in Budapest on October 17. Spain's distance runner Marta Dominguez received the female award.

Previous British winners include Colin Jackson, Linford Christie and Jonathan Edwards, one of Idowu's predecessors as triple jump world champion.

Idowu admitted after his world championship victory that he remains determined to emulate world-record holder Edwards by leaping to Olympic gold at London 2012.

"Even with a gold medal now I still believe there's more in there. I still have the dream of being Olympic champion," Idowu said.

"It is a long way away. I've got another couple of years and I've got to defend this title and have to defend my world indoor title next year. There's a lot more to come.

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