Idowu fails to shine

  • Last Updated: August 7 2012, 14:29 BST

Phillips Idowu insisted retirement was not on the agenda, despite seeing his bid for an elusive Olympic gold medal end with a whimper this as he crashed out in triple jump qualifying.

Phillips Idowu: Rusty after injury lay-off

The 33-year-old east Londoner, whose fitness has been the focus of so much frenzied speculation in the build-up to the Games, could only manage a best jump of 16.53 metres as he failed to finish in the top 12.

Idowu, who is suffering from a trapped nerve, arrived at the Olympic Stadium preparing to answer the critics who had questioned his readiness for the Games.

But in the end he was unable to do so as he fell well short of the automatic qualifying mark of 17.10m.

The Beijing silver medallist produced a first-round jump of 16.47m and, after fouling in the second, went further with his third, but it was not far enough.

Idowu ended up in 14th place, nine centimetres off 12th, and admitted the disappointment had "not sunk in".

He said: "I struggled with some nervy pains and hadn't been 100%, but I always felt that if I was able to come here and be pain free I should be able to replicate what I've done in previous years.

"My main goal was to be able to be here and be pain free and if I was I felt like the calibre of athlete I am and being such a big occasion that I would be able to pull something special out of the bag. But the timing just wasn't there for me.

"My preparation went well. I've been training every day and working hard.

"My strength levels and speed are great and I have been able to jump in training so with all of that I felt I was able to come out and put on a decent show but it just wasn't to happen."

Idowu insisted not competing in his home Games was never an option and ruled out calling time on his career.

"Definitely I am going to carry on competing," he said.

"I don't think you've seen the best of me yet. Regardless of my achievements at these Games I was never going to finish here."

The so-called 'Invisible Man' of British athletics was always struggling to be fully fit, going into the Games having competed just three times in 2012.

Idowu only arrived at the athletes' village on Sunday. He claimed that for the last few weeks he has simply been in his home city of London, finalising his preparation and receiving treatment, easily reachable by the "appropriate people".

In contrast, UK Athletics head coach Charles van Commenee said last week he was perplexed that Idowu had turned his back on UKA and his own coach Aston Moore, who had only received a brief text before Idowu cut off contact.

Idowu was still very popular with the home crowd, though, a huge roar going round the stadium when he appeared on the big screen which got louder when he was introduced to the crowd.

He could not give them any more to shout about, though, with his distances well down on his season's best of 17.31m.

In contrast, world champion Christian Taylor took just one jump to book his place in the final, leaping 17.21m with his first effort.