Idowu denies injury stories ahead of preparation for Crystal Palace return
Wednesday, 11 July 2012
July 11 - Britain's former world triple jump champion Phillips Idowu, who last competed on June 1, denied today that his apparent lay-off was due to injury, insisting that he had pulled out of the British Olympic trials and meetings in Oslo and Paris as a precautionary measure ahead of London 2012.
The 33-year-old Beijing 2008 silver medallist (pictured top), who will make his return to competition this weekend at the Samsung Diamond League meeting at Crystal Palace, smiled and shrugged when he was asked how it was that the UK head coach Charles van Commenee, speaking to the press ahead of the trials, had said he could not comment on Idowu's case due to issues of "medical confidentiality".
Idowu was reported to have injured his foot at the Diamond League meeting in Eugene at the beginning of last month, where he pulled out after taking three jumps.
But the current world silver medallist, one of four leading British athletes meeting the press on a Thames pleasure cruiser travelling between Westminster and Tower Bridge, said he withdrew from the event in Oregon as a precaution because of wet conditions.
"I have not mentioned anything about an injury to be honest, so no-one has heard the words come out of my mouth, or from my coach, or any of my team," he said.
"The story was in the papers before I got back from Eugene.
"I was shocked when I read about it.
"So I have let that rumour mill stir itself and it has given me an opportunity to focus on my preparation for the Games, which I feel has gone really well.
"Every year I never compete in every meet I put down as scheduled.
"I put my name down as an option for competitions that I may want to do through the year, but there are times when things go really well and you feel like 'Okay, I can take a step back'.
"In Eugene I pulled out after the third round because it was raining and I slipped on the board.
"You hit the board, your foot slips, and it kind of sends the fear of God through you.
"I didn't want to take any chances.
"The trials was precautionary.
"After Eugene I had been working really hard with a 10-day training programme, I had a day off and then went on a solid five-day programme, so physically there was a lot of fatigue in my system and I didn't want to jeopardise my chances at the Games by competing when I wasn't in tip-top form.
"I have always said if I am not in the best possible physical shape then I won't compete because people pay their hard-earned money to come and see me perform well and compete, and I want to do them justice by making sure that I am in the best shape I can be when I do compete.
"I triple jump, so I am always feeling aches and pains.
"It is Olympic year so I don't want to do anything to jeopardise my chances of performing in the best possible shape that I can be in at the Games."
Idowu took silver at the Beijing Games behind Portugal's Nelson Evora (pictured above centre), before reversing their positions to take the world title in 2009.
Last year in Daegu, Idowu took silver behind Christian Taylor of the United States, who leads this season's rankings with the 17.63 metres he jumped in winning at Eugene.
Idowu's 2012 best is the 17.31 he registered in winning the Hengelo meeting on May 27.
Idowu is predicting a close competition at the Games, despite the absence of a number of his rivals, including world indoor triple jump champion Teddy Tamgho of France, who has an ankle injury.
"Any of the 12 men in the final will be a threat," added Idowu.
"Christian Taylor [the reigning world champion] is a massively talented athlete, as well as his compatriot, Will Clare.
"I went into Beijing as favourite.
"I was ranked number one in the world and had been pretty much that whole season.
"I put in a good performance and jumped a season's best but I was just beaten by a better athlete on the day.
"At the time I was upset and disappointed but a great reception from the British public helped me feel better.
"The medal spurred me on and I went on to win a world  and European  title.
"My ultimate goal has always been to come back and upgrade that silver medal to a gold."
April 2012: Idowu, Pendleton and Pollock join Team Samsung for London 2012
January 2012: Olympic triple jump champion and Idowu's rival out of London 2012
June 2011: I'm no Twit blasts angry Idowu as he accuses van Commenee of lying
February 2011: Triple British success led by brilliant Farah
September 2010: Triple blow for Commonwealth Games as Idowu leads England withdrawals