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Page last updated at 08:34 GMT, Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Idowu World Indoors withdrawal disappoints Van Commenee

Phillips Idowu in action at the UK Indoor Grand Prix in Birmingham
Phillips Idowu in action at the UK Indoor Grand Prix in Birmingham

UK Athletics head coach Charles van Commenee says he is "disappointed" by Phillips Idowu's decision to withdraw from the World Indoor Championships.

World triple jump champion Idowu, 31, pulled out of the event, which runs from 12-14 March, following the birth of his second child last week.

Van Commenee explained: "I am disappointed Phillips is not competing as he was a clear medal prospect."

Idowu would have been defending his World Indoor crown in Doha.

"I am gutted not to be representing GB and passing up the opportunity to defend my title," said Idowu, who won outdoor gold in Berlin in 2009.

606: DEBATE

"However the late arrival of my baby boy has meant that my training has been severely disrupted.

"I decided after talking to my coach that I had not had the preparation we agreed was needed to do the British team proud.

"I was hoping to avoid this by competing in a larger than usual number of events early in the season, but it hasn't worked out that way.

"Instead I will increase the training with a focus on the European Championships in Barcelona. I wish the team the best of luck in Doha."

UK Athletics confirmed on Monday that Idowu had withdrawn from Great Britain's 37-strong squad for the event - and, while disappointed to lose a medal prospect, Van Commenee chose not to dwell on the situation.

GB's main medal prospects
Dwain Chambers - 60m
Jenny Meadows - 800m
Jessica Ennis - Pentathlon

"I need to respect his decision and I look forward to him resuming winning ways in Barcelona in the summer," said Van Commenee.

Idowu jumped a season's best of 17.25m at the UK Indoor Grand Prix in Birmingham in February, but that was only good enough for fourth place.

The Londoner, who won silver at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, has not been in top form this season and sits joint sixth on the list of leading jumpers.

Italy's Fabrizio Donato is at the top with a mark of 17.39m, ahead of Sweden's Christian Olsson (17.32), a two-time former World Indoor champion getting back to his best after a succession of injuries.

Dwain Chambers in the 60m, Jenny Meadows in the 800m and Jessica Ennis in the pentathlon will lead Britain's bid for medals at the competition.



see also
Ennis ready for Doha challenge
04 Mar 10 |  Athletics
Hubbard makes World Championships
23 Feb 10 |  Athletics
Jumping masterclass with Phillips Idowu
01 Aug 08 |  Athletics
Aikines-Aryeetey earns Doha place
23 Feb 10 |  Athletics
Idowu wins Britain's second gold
18 Aug 09 |  Athletics


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