PHILLIPS IDOWU opens his 2012 account at the second leg of the Samsung Diamond League series in Shanghai on May 19 and the Londoner, who is gearing up for his fourth Olympic appearance, will renew his rivalry with world champion Christian Taylor from the USA.
Idowu decided to forego any indoor competitions this winter which means the 33-year-old will be taking to the runway in a competitive environment for the first time since September but the reigning Olympic silver medallist has a good knack of opening his outdoor season with a bang. The European champion, who has been training in Monte Gordo in Portugal, has opened his summer season with a 17.50m-plus jump in three of his past four seasons.
Idowu’s best season’s openers
- 17.60m (+2.4) 2009 – Turin, June 1
- 17.59m (-0.6) 2011 – Rome, May 27
- 17.55m (+2.0) 2008 – Hania, June 7
- 17.48m (-0.1) 2010 – Rio de Janeiro, May 23
Something in the 17.50m range is likely to be a necessity in order to overcome the calibre of competition in China’s second largest city on Saturday. Idowu takes on Taylor for the first time since the World Championships in Daegu where the 21-year-old built on the promise he showed at Crystal Palace just a few weeks earlier in beating the Brit on home-soil.
Taylor will also make his outdoor debut but a recent 100m PB of 10.61 shows the world champion should be sharp on the runway and the fact he scored a world indoor silver medallist proves further he’s enjoyed a good off-season.
The winner of the world indoor title was 20-year-old Will Claye who comprised the podium in Daegu last summer. Like Taylor, Claye has been focusing on speedwork this spring which he will be hoping to translate to his specialist event. Claye won a low-key competition in Guadeloupe with 17.05m but this will also be his first major test since clearing 17.70m at the World Indoor Championships.
Last year’s Diamond League series
- Doha, May 6 – 1. Teddy Tamgho 17.49m, 2. Leevan Sands 17.09m, 3. Alexis Copello 17.05m
- Rome, May 26 – 1. Phillips Idowu 17.59m, 2. Christian Olsson 17.29m, 3. Alexis Copello 17.14m
- New York, June 11 – 1. Phillips Idowu 16.67m, 2. Christian Olsson 16.29m, 3. Leevan Sands 16.28m
- Lausanne, June 30 – 1. Teddy Tamgho 17.91m, 2. Phillips Idowu 17.52m, 3. Alexis Copello 17.06m
- Birmingham, July 10 – 1. Phillips Idowu 17.54m, 2. Alexis Copello 17.12m, 3. David Giralt 17.08m
- Monaco, July 22 – 1. Phillips Idowu 17.36m, 2. Alexis Copello 17.30m, 3. David Giralt 17.29m
- London, Aug 5 – 1. Christian Taylor 17.68m, 2. Tosin Oke 17.21m, 3. Phillips Idowu 17.07m
- Brussels, Sep 16 – 1. Benjamin Compaore 17.31m, 2. Sheryf El-Sheryf 16.93m, 3. Alexis Copello 16.89m