100 Team GB contenders for London 2012: Phillips Idowu

Athletics (triple jump)

Born: 30/12/78

Career highlights

He won his first outdoor global title at the 2009 World Championships, soaring to a then-personal best.

Idowu has turned his promise into podium finishes since 2006, also winning gold at the Commonwealth Games and European Championships indoors and out.

Career lowlights

He suffered a painful defeat to Nelson Evora by five centimetres at the 2008 Olympics, four years after failing to register a legal jump in Athens.

Idowu now admits that his 2004 failure sent him off the rails: "I was drinking and partying. I was lost. The sport I loved had taken up a large majority of my time and I didn't know what I was going to do."

His girlfriend Carlita helped him remotivate himself and inspired an incredible comeback.


Idowu spent part of his childhood in foster care and says he does not know how many brothers and sisters he has. He was raised for much of his childhood by his mum on a tough Hackney council estate.

Idowu used to jump the fence of Mile End Stadium to train because he could not afford the £2 entry fee. He was given his first triple jump lesson aged 12 by Humphrey Long, a PE teacher at Raines Foundation School in Bethnal Green, East London.

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