• Athletics

Edwards: No way back for Idowu

ESPN staff
August 6, 2013
Phillips Idowu claimed gold at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin and silver in Daegu two years later © Getty Images

Phillips Idowu's decision to skip the IAAF World Championships and take an indefinite break from athletics has all but ended his career, according to triple-jump world record holder Jonathan Edwards.

Former world champion Idowu announced that he was taking an indefinite break from track and field in 2013, one year after failing to make the final at the Olympics, where he had been among the favourites.

After a public falling-out with UK Athletics head coach Charles van Commenee, who dubbed Idowu the invisible man after his apparent disappearance shortly before London 2012 to deal with an injury away from the Team GB camp, the 34-year-old said he had re-committed himself to athletics, only to announce his sabbatical in July.

And Edwards, who set the world record at the 1995 World Championships in Gothenburg, is convinced that a return to the sport is beyond Idowu.

"At his age and with the problems he had last year, I don't think we will see him again," Edwards told Press Association Sport.

"With the injuries and the breakdown in his relationship, not just with Charles van Commenee but his coach Aston Moore and British Athletics, he became very isolated.

"Then he jumped incredibly poorly and people were very critical, and I think it would be very hard for him to come back from that.

"He's not going to be coming back and winning titles like he did before, so I think saying he's hanging his spikes up for a short while is just a staging post to retirement."

Idowu's absence means that there will be no triple-jumpers in the British team in Moscow that is also without Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis-Hill.

"It's not the strongest team, certainly compared to the Olympics last year," Edwards concedes. "It's missing a few big names and a few people are perhaps not at their best, which is not a big surprise post Olympics.

"That said, there's still a lot to look forward to. I think Mo Farah is in even better shape than last year and going for another double, which would be remarkable.

"The standout race will be to see how James Dasaolu runs. It's a lot more open now and he could be in with a chance of a medal. Let's hope he's 100% fit - I think the races he's withdrawn from he was probably just being ultra cautious.

"If he can run 9.91 he should comfortably make the final and then it's just about how well he copes with the pressure of being in a 100m final with the likes of Usain Bolt."

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