Idowu 'mind games' not enough to put triple jump favourite Taylor off his stride
16:15 GMT, 31 July 2012
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World triple jump champion Christian Taylor believes rival Phillips Idowu has been playing mind games over his injury-clouded build-up to the London Olympics.
Idowu cast doubt on his bid for glory at London 2012 last week when he failed to travel to the British team’s pre-Games training camp in Portugal.
The British Olympic Association responded by requesting the medical records of the silver medallist from Beijing, who remained in the UK for treatment on a trapped nerve which is causing problems in his left hip and knee.
Playing it cool: Christian Taylor is in confident mood ahead of facing Phillips Idowu in the triple jump
The 33-year-old eventually complied on Thursday, despite reacting angrily to the BOA’s intervention.
Taylor, who beat Idowu into silver at last year’s World Championships, claimed all the rumour and speculation would not make him complacent.
The American said: 'I respect him (Idowu). He’s a strong jumper. I’m not sleeping on his experience. It only takes one jump to win.
'He’s playing head games. He warmed up (at the Diamond League meeting at Crystal Palace earlier this month) and said “See you in 20 days”.'
Idowu withdrew from that competition before it got under way and he goes into the Games having not competed since June 1.
Fitness fight: Phillips Idowu insists he will be raring to go when the triple jump starts
BOA chef de mission Andy Hunt was confident, though, he would be ready for qualifying on August 7.
'Our medical team are in discussions with Phillips’ team, including his physio,' Hunt said. 'Phillips is making good progress and, right now, we expect Phillips to compete.'
Taylor added: 'You want to compete with the best. I hope he is there come the 7th.'
The 22-year-old still had an ominous warning for Idowu and the rest of the field, though, as he declared his intention to challenge Jonathan Edwards’ world record.
Edwards’ mark, set in 1995, stands at 18.29 metres, while Taylor leapt 17.96m in winning gold last year.
'I grew up watching Jonathan Edwards,' he said. 'He’s very speed orientated. I studied him and the heights he gets off the board. I’m here to surpass his mark.'