x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Olympics: Phillips Idowu hurt after 'letting fans down'

British triple jumper disappointed after failing in the qualification stage in London.

Britain's Phillips Idowu, who recently recovered from a nerve injury, failed to make it past the qualifying stage despite crowd support. Phil Noble / Reuters
Britain's Phillips Idowu, who recently recovered from a nerve injury, failed to make it past the qualifying stage despite crowd support. Phil Noble / Reuters

LONDON // Phillips Idowu, the British medal hopeful who grew up just a few miles from the site of the Olympic Stadium in east London, said he felt he had let the host country's fans down after failing to advance past the qualifying stage of the triple jump.

The 33 year old had endured a troubled build-up to his home Olympics.

He was termed the "Invisible Man" by Charles van Commenee, the head coach of UK athletics, for apparently losing touch with his coach in the weeks leading up to the event and then checking in late to the Athlete's Village.

Despite the furore caused by his absence, Idowu received just as rapturous a welcome as the other home athletes by the 80,000 crowd in Stratford yesterday morning.

However, he was unable to repay them as he had wished, despite being able to compete "pain free" following the recent nerve injury which he said had prompted his absence.

"The goal was always to come here and battle for the Olympic gold medal," Idowu, who won silver in Beijing four years ago, said in a television interview following his third jump.

"Now it's not to be I just need to go home and reassess, spend time with family and kids today and try not to be so down about my performance.

"It's over now, there's nothing I can do. I'm not going to be competing in the final, it's a shame.

"The crowd have been great, I've seen them give the British athletes so much support in this week and I'm upset that I let them down.

"All year I've been tagged as a medal favourite and now I don't even get the chance to go out and get the chance to do what I've done year on year."

pradley@thenational.ae

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