London Spy

British medal hopes: Phillips Idowu (athletics)

London Spy

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Idowu at the 2011 Worlds in Daegu

Phillips Idowu has won everything there is to win in athletics except a gold medal at the Olympics.

The 33-year-old has amassed an outstanding array of major indoor and outdoor triple jump gold medals in his career so far.

His first came at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne and he proved his pedigree again by winning the European indoor title in 2007.

That was soon followed by world indoor gold in Spain in 2008, although later that year he had to settle for silver at the Beijing Olympics.

Idowu learned from the experience and bounced back to produce a personal best jump on his way to winning the world title in Berlin in 2009. The following year, at the 2010 European championships in Barcelona, he blew the opposition away by winning by a huge 30cm margin after producing another personal best on the big stage.

His decision to withdraw from the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi due to concerns about the safety of the participating athletes drew criticism from home and abroad. Idowu, though, refused to apologise, and he soon returned to action on the international stage.

He lost his world title in Daegu last year after being edged into silver by Christian Taylor, who won the event by producing the fifth longest jump in history.

However, Idowu, who will be impossible to miss with his colourful hairstyle in his home city of London, will be determined to find the gold that will finally plug the gap in his medal collection.

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