On this day 2008: Phillips Idowu wins world indoor triple jump gold for Britain

On this day 2008: Phillips Idowu wins world indoor triple jump gold for Britain

Great Britain’s Phillips Idowu won gold in the triple jump at the World Indoor Championships in Valencia, on this day in 2008.

The 29-year-old Londoner chose the perfect moment to put together his most impressive series of jumps in competition to that point to top the podium.

Sporting a designer red hairstyle, Idowu opened with a jump of 17.10m before going out to 17.75m with his second, in the process smashing Jonathan Edwards’ 10-year-old British record and coming within eight centimetres of of the then world indoor record.

Great Britain’s Phillips Idowu in action in the triple jump final at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Valencia
Great Britain’s Phillips Idowu in action in the triple jump final at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Valencia (John Giles/PA)

He matched his previous personal best of 17.56m in the third round and jumped 17.45m in the next before sitting out the fifth and fouling with his final attempt.

But by that point, he had already done enough to see off the challenge of former world junior champion David Giralt and the previous year’s world outdoor gold medallist Nelson Evora.

The notoriously-inconsistent Idowu, who was presented with his medal by former world and Olympic champion Edwards, was quick to play down suggestions his achievement made him favourite for the Olympic title in Beijing later that year.

He said at the time: “Obviously this sets me up very well going into the outdoor season.

Great Britain’s Phillips Idowu celebrates his victory in Valencia
Great Britain’s Phillips Idowu celebrates his victory in Valencia (John Giles/PA)

“I think there’s still a few people who didn’t come out to these championships who must be considered also (for the Olympics).

“I like to be in the background until it’s absolutely necessary.”

In the event, Portugal’s Evora got his revenge in Beijing when he took gold with a jump of 17.67m as Idowu had to settle for silver with 17.62m.