BIRMINGHAM’S adopted triple jumpers endured a disastrous evening at the Aviva London Grand Prix last night.
Phillips Idowu and Nathan Douglas, both of whom train at the High Performance Centre in Perry Barr, stuttered at the worst time possible with the IAAF World Championships just three weeks away.
Idowu, trained by Aston Moore, produced a lacklustre display in finishing third with an effort of 17.16m, nearly half a metre behind his season’s best.
The Olympic silver medallist appears to be losing momentum as he prepares for Berlin and what he hopes will be a showdown with Nelson Evora, the man who beat him to the Beijing title.
The 30-year-old never found his best rhythm with three fouls and a final effort that never threatened the 17.33m winning distance by American Brandan Roulhac.
And just when it looked like he would be beaten into an unlikely second place, Cuba’s David Giralt relegated the Londoner further down the pack with a final leap of 17.18m.
But if Idowu had a bad night, it was positively joyous compared to Douglas’. The Erdington-based jumper was forced to pull out after three rounds on the advice of a doctor.
The 2006 European runner-up has struggled for fitness since that silver medal in Gothenburg and still requires the qualifying standard to make it to Germany, even if he can recover from his latest setback.
Meanwhile Birchfield’s Vicki Hubbard put in a creditable performance in the high jump when she posted a season’s best 1.84m in a high-class field.
The competition was won by all-conquering Croat Blanca Vlasic who cleared 2.02m though Hubbard’s height was her best since she won the English Schools title three years ago.
Hubbard’s compatriots Mo Farah and Kate Dennison also put in excellent performances with the former recording the second fastest 5,000m of his career.
Although the Newham runner missed out on David Moorcroft’s 26-year-old British record, the manner of his victory over many of the athletes who will be in Berlin confirmed his status as a coming force in international distance running.
And Dennison continues to go from strength to strength with a 4.58m clearance in the pole vault that was the eighth British record of her career.
But predictably triple Olympic champion Usain Bolt stole the headlines with a dominant 100m in 9.91s into a strong headwind.