• London Olympics 2012

Idowu injury a real concern for Team GB

ESPN staff
July 4, 2012

Triple jumper Phillips Idowu is an injury doubt for London 2012, despite being including in the Team GB squad for the event.

UK Athletics chief Charles van Commenee revealed at the official announcement of Team GB's track and field squad for the Olympics on Tuesday that Idowu was suffering with a mystery injury that could prevent him competing at the forthcoming Games.

Idowu, the current world silver medallist, is one of Britain's best hopes for an athletics medal in the Olympic Stadium this summer but has not competed since suffering a foot injury after an awkward landing during an event in Oregon on June 2 - subsequently skipping both the Olympic trials and Friday's Diamond League meeting in Paris.

He is currently due to compete at the Aviva Grand Prix at Crystal Palace in just over a week's time, but Van Commenee is unsure he will even be fit to compete in the Games at the start of August.

"There are no guarantees," Van Commenee said. "The athlete is injured. At least that's what we know. How can I possibly be confident [he will compete]?"

The current confusion could be the result of a lack of communication, however, with Idowu and Van Commenee failing to see eye-to-eye since a high-profile dispute over a year ago - when Idowu branded Van Commenee a "blatant liar" on Twitter following a disagreement about the reasons behind his withdrawal from the 2011 European Championships.

Van Commenee subsequently said the social media site was for "clowns and attention-seekers".

Van Commenee revealed Idowu's agent had asked him not to reveal details of his injury but, with no other triple jumper having achieved the Olympic standard, the Dutchman nevertheless had no doubts about including him in the Team GB squad.

"He's the former world champion and the No. 2 in the world last year. He's got a proven track record," Van Commenee said. "His selection does not exclude any other athletes, so it's a no-brainer.

"There is room in the selection policy to deselect athletes who prove not to be fit. At the moment, it is silly not to select a man who jumped in early June."

If fit Idowu, a Hackney native, will be hoping to improve on the silver medal he won in Beijing four years ago.

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