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Target 2012 for Idowu

PUBLISHED: 17:13 28 August 2008 | UPDATED: 13:34 05 October 2010

By JONATHAN CLEGG PHILLIPS Idowu has said he is determined to overcome the heartache of missing out on the Olympic triple jump title in Beijing by winning gold in London in 2012. The former Raine s Foundation School pupil fell short in his attempt to put

By JONATHAN CLEGG

PHILLIPS Idowu has said he is determined to overcome the heartache of missing out on the Olympic triple jump title in Beijing by winning gold in London in 2012.

The former Raine's Foundation School pupil fell short in his attempt to put a golden finish on an excellent season last Thursday when he was narrowly beaten by Portugal's Nelson Evora at the Bird's Nest stadium.

"I didn't come here for a silver medal, so I'm not going to be content with what I have got," said Idowu.

"I will go on. I'm a winner - I want to clean up, sweep everything on the way to London. I have no choice but to carry on."

World indoor champion Idowu had been a clear favourite to take Olympic gold, but despite jumping a season's best 17.62m, he was forced to settle for silver when Evora snatched the top prize with a fourth-round leap of 17.67m.

It was the first event this year that the 29-year-old had failed to win but he could console himself with the knowledge that he had been involved in a close-run competition.

This was the first Olympic final in which more than two people jumped 17.50m, with Leevan Sands, of the Bahamas, making it a three-way battle for the gold medal.

Idowu began the night in positive fashion, leaping to the front of the field with a clean first jump of 17.51m that appeared to justify his position at the top of the world rankings.

He was pushed back into the bronze position in the second round as Evora and Arnie David Giralt, from Cuba, both exceeded his opening mark, but Idowu responded with a third-round effort of 17.62m to restore his position at the head of the field.

Yet Evora's fourth jump proved decisive. The Portugal athlete, who originally represented the Cape Verde Islands, produced an improvement of 33cm on his season's best and left Idowu trailing by 5cm.

Idowu would have needed a jump equalling his all-time personal best of 17.68m to take the title and it proved too much for the Belgrave Harrier, who could not conceal his frustration at the outcome.

"It was way off from what I needed to do for gold," he said. "I came here with a plan, but didn't do any of that. I jumped further than I have done this year, but it wasn't enough.

"I felt like it was a failure - all year I have been jumping around 17.50m and taking off around 20cm behind the board so all I needed to do was what I have been doing all year, bang on the board and I would have had 20cm on the guys.

"Even if I had taken off 20cm behind the board I should have been jumping as far as the winner.

"There were a lot of people who came here to support me and as well as letting them down, I've let myself down too. I don't like the colour silver, that's not going to happen to me again."

Idowu added that he will now attempt to finish the season at the top of the world rankings as he begins to prepare for next year's World Championships in Berlin.

"I want to finish my season ranked number one in the world," he said. "Next year I want to be so far ahead of everyone else in the world that even if I underperform by 50cm, they're 20cm behind.


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