Phillips Idowu

Phillips Idowu

The Olympic silver medallist and World Champion triple jumper says "I always believed in my abilities."

Raise Your Game: You've just won gold at the World Athletics Championships (2009). How does it feel to achieve what you've been striving for all this time?

Phillips Idowu: It's an amazing feeling. It's been a long time coming. I'm not sure if it has sunk in or not yet. I'm really emotional right now so I just need five minutes to catch my breath! It's nice to know that I've managed to get it right when it matters.

What's the key to performing when it really counts?


Phillips Idowu

30 December 1978


Triple jump


  • Gold - European Championships, Barcelona (2010)
  • Named men's European Athlete of the Year 2009
  • Gold - World Athletics Championships (Berlin, 2009)
  • Silver - Beijing Olympics (China, 2008)
  • Gold - World Indoor Championships (Valencia, 2008)
  • Gold - European Indoor Championships (Birmingham, 2007)
  • Gold - Commonwealth Games (Melbourne, 2006)
  • Silver - Commonwealth Games (Manchester, 2002)

PI: You need to commit completely. I knew that today was one of those days when my run-up was working. Before I went out to jump my coach said to me "Just run. If you run the jumping will take care of itself." That's all I thought about and that's what happened.

How important is it to be relaxed and confident when you perform?

PI: When I go out to perform I make sure that I'm comfortable with how I look. Having my hair dyed and having my piercings is my personality. I feel relaxed knowing that I'm not trying to be anything other than who I am. That helps my performances.

RYG: You've had your fair share of disappointments in the past, is it just a case of hanging in there sometimes?

PI: I've had years where I've been injured and I've had to go to competitions with little niggles and aches and pains. Over the last two years I've managed to compete through the whole season without any problems. I picked up a silver and had a great performance in the Beijing Olympics (2008), and this year I managed to come out with a gold medal. I know the key for me is to stay in one piece and I'll be out there winning medals.

RYG: What message do you have for young people looking to follow in your footsteps?

PI: It's been a long road. I always believed in my abilities and it's finally paid off. I've got an Outdoor title to match my World Indoor title.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.