Idowu fails to qualify for final

07 August 2012 / 12:40

Phillips Idowu's bid for an elusive Olympic gold medal ended as he crashed out in triple jump qualifying at the Olympic Stadium.

The East London athlete, 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 arrived at the Olympic Stadium preparing to answer the critics who had questioned his readiness for the Games, but 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.

The so-called "Invisible Man" of British athletics was always struggling to be fully fit following his late withdrawal from the Olympic trials and last month's London Grand Prix, when he pulled out just 25 minutes before the competition was due to start.

Idowu, who is suffering from a trapped nerve, arrived at the athletes' village on Sunday and proved very popular with the home crowd as a huge roar went 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.

Idowu was upset to bow out and felt he had let down the home crowds, and he told BBC3: "That wasn't me out there today. I've competed for 12 years and I can't remember a time when I've performed that badly."

He added: "The goal was always to come here and battle for the Olympic gold medal. 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."