18 February 2010
Reigning Triple Jump World Champion Phillips Idowu will be competing at the Aviva Grand Prix in Birmingham this weekend (Saturday 20 February) pitting himself against former World Champion and rival, Sweden’s Christian Olsson.
Idowu will look to use the event to hone his preparations for the World Indoor Championships in Doha, and with his current season best being seventeen metres, he’ll be looking to make a real impact against the world class field..
The 31-year-old will compete at the National Indoor arena, a venue in which he became European champion in 2007 and won the Aviva GP the following year. The rivalry between Idowu and Olsson goes back a decade with the Swede defeating the Briton on 20 of their 22 meetings so a fierce competition is likely to ensue.
However, Idowu feels that the pressure of a rivalry only adds to his ambition to perform well;
“I know everyone is going to be concentrating on the rivalry between me and Olsson but I know that we’ll both get out there and jump our best. Olsson competing will potentially push me to jump further.
“I want to give him a good challenge on the day, especially in front of a home crowd. The bottom line is, no matter how good he is, Olsson’s just another competitor I want to beat.
“I’m looking forward to competing at Birmingham – it’s always great to perform in front of the crowd there and I know I’ll get fantastic support which always spurs me on to do better – the atmosphere is great. I’m keen to get a really good jump in at the Aviva Grand Prix.”
Before the headline clash takes place, spectators will be treated to athletics with a difference. A unique concept will kick-start the action at the National Indoor Arena for the Aviva Grand Prix this year, when BMX riders and inline skaters take on British High Jumpers in an Extreme High Jump exhibition. At 12.30 spectators can witness for the first time the meeting of polar opposites traditional athletics and extreme sports; this short event promises to push the boundaries of the High Jump as the rules are swapped for tricks and stunts.
Tickets for the Aviva Grand Prix at the National Indoor Arena, Birmingham on Saturday 20th February are available by phone on 08000 556 056 or online at www.uka.org.uk