Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

I've Grown Up since Beijing and Am Now Ready to Win Gold, Says Idowu; the Triple Jumper Insists He Can Claim a Big Outdoor Title for First Time after Moving Home and Overcoming Illness. by Matt Majendie

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

I've Grown Up since Beijing and Am Now Ready to Win Gold, Says Idowu; the Triple Jumper Insists He Can Claim a Big Outdoor Title for First Time after Moving Home and Overcoming Illness. by Matt Majendie

Article excerpt

Byline: Matt Majendie

ALMOST a year on from the heartache of finishing second at the Olympic Games, Phillips Idowu claims to have moved on from his disappointment in Beijing.

True, he has moved on some 200 miles further north from his London roots and is now living in Birmingham. He has also gone through a serious illness that left him incapable of doing anything for two weeks and put his achievements into perspective.

Yet when asked about the subject of China, you still get the feeling that Idowu, who keeps his silver medal in a sock drawer, continues to hurt.

"Since Beijing, I've really tried to grow as a person and I can't afford to have any personal turmoil," he said. "I feel that's happened and hopefully that can translate at the track.

"Beijing's in the past and I've moved on. This is a new year and it's all been about building for the world championships. I might not be unbeaten in the year like I was arriving at the Olympics but I'm a different athlete both physically and mentally. I genuinely feel I'm a better athlete and that there's a big jump around the corner."

Idowu finished behind Portugal's Nelson Evora despite being the red-hot favourite to win in Beijing last August. The pressure will not be the same this weekend, when the world championships get under way in Berlin.

The triple jump looks set to be one of the most hotly-contested events at the Olympiastadion when qualifying begins on Sunday with just six centimetres separating the five leading competitors this season, from Evora's leap of 17.66m to Idowu's best effort of 17.60m. "I'm going to be on the limit in my event," added Idowu. "I have to jump like I'm never going to jump again to win gold."

Idowu was recently quoted as saying he was targeting an 18.40m jump this season, which would shatter Jonathan Edwards's long-standing world record by 11cms but the 30-year-old revealed he has an even bigger ambition.

"I never said that," he said. "Sure, the world record's a target and always will be in my career. I know I'm capable of it but it's no good having the potential to jump in excess of 18 metres, I have to actually do it. …

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