Rio funds for Idowu as triple-jumper ends UKA feud despite London 2012 flop
21:00 GMT, 15 October 2012
Phillips Idowu's spat with UK Athletics appears to be over after he was lavished with warm words and the tangible gift of 75,000.
The triple-jumper kept his top-bracket Lottery funding for 2013 on the day marathon world record-holder Paula Radcliffe was among several senior athletes removed from the programme in UKA’s ruthless push for success at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Idowu's inclusion on 'podium' funding — up to 26,000 in living expenses, plus coaching, training, competition, medical and scientific support worth another 50,000 — comes despite his rift with former head coach Charles van Commenee.
Bust-up: Phillips Idowu feuded with former UKA chief Charles van Commenee
The pair fell out over the way Idowu withdrew from the European Team Championships last year, with the stand-off doing neither any credit.
Idowu, 33, then refused to come clean about his injury status as the London Olympics approached and failed to qualify for the final, but now Van Commenee has departed.
After meeting Idowu, new performance director Neil Black said: ‘We both feel really positive about the future. We are going to work together.’
Cash blow: Radcliffe has been removed from the list of athletes benefitting from Lottery funding
There can be no argument with Radcliffe’s treatment. She is 39 in December and has suffered a litany of injuries, the latest of which — to her left foot — kept her out of the Olympics. Her chances of making Rio are slim, but she said: ‘Retirement is definitely not in any plans. I’m not doing all this cross-training and getting this foot healthy and strong for nothing!’
With Black saying the emphasis is on Rio, the inclusion of well-travelled triple-jumper Yamile Aldama appears odd. The former Cuban and Sudanese competitor will be 44 by then.
Leap of faith: Garabarz is one of those whose funding will be boosted
Other big names to be axed are: veteran sprinters Mark Lewis-Francis and Marlon Devonish, European 400m hurdles champion Rhys Williams, Radcliffe’s fellow marathon runner Mara Yamauchi, former European 800m silver medallist Michael Rimmer, Commonwealth 1500m bronze medallist Steph Twell and former world 400m silver medallist Nicola Sanders.
Sprint prodigy Adam Gemili, 19, is added to the podium list. Robbie Grabarz, Olympic bronze-medal-winning high jumper, returns to full funding.