Idowu out of Olympics after qualifying flop

Makes abject exit after controversial build-up to the Games

British triple jumper Phillips Idowu failed to qualify for the men's Olympic final here on Tuesday, making an abject exit after a controversial build-up to the Games.

His best mark of 16.53m saw him finish two places outside the qualifiers, some nine centimetres short of the 12th and final finalist Dzmitry Platnitski of Belarus.

"It's not good. I was supposed to come out here and qualify and I didn't," he said.

Idowu, who was hoping to complete a full house of titles here having won European, world and Commonwealth gold in the past, said he had fulfilled one part of the target he had set himself here.

"My main goal was to be here and be pain-free," he said.

"If I was pain-free I felt like because of the calibre of athlete I am and being such a big occasion I'd be able to pull something special out of the bag. I got one out of the two - I was pain-free, but my timing was not there."

"My home Olympic Games, my fourth Olympic Games, hasn't gone to plan. Now I just have to regroup."

The 33-year-old Beijing silver medallist had been one of Britain's big hopes for the Games and his features had been plastered on much of the promotional advertising.

However, tension arose when Idowu opted not to travel to the team's pre-Games training camp in Portugal and undergo treatment on a trapped nerve in his back, preferring to seek his own remedy.

His behaviour was labelled "bizarre" by Charles van Commenee, the disciplinarian head coach of British athletics, who has had previous run-ins with the flamboyant athlete, who has favoured exotic hairdyes and multi body piercings.

However, Idowu insisted that he had prepared in a professional manner for the Games.

"My preparation went well. I've been training every day, working hard every day," he said. "I haven't had much rest because I've needed to make sure I was strong, I was fit.

"My strength levels are great and my speed's great and I've been able to jump in training... with all of that put together I felt like I was able to come out and at least put on a decent show but it just wasn't going to happen."

Idowu said that despite this disappointment and his problems with van Commenee he would not be retiring.

"I'm going to carry on competing ... Regardless of my achievement at these Games I was never going to finish here," he said.


 

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