Phillips Idowu of Britain won the men’s triple jump on Tuesday at the world championships, beating Olympic gold medallist Nelson Evora of Portugal.
Idowu, the runner-up at last year’s Beijing Olympics, won with a jump of 17.73 metres - the best result in the world this year and his personal best.
“This moment is very emotional and I need five minutes to take a breath,” Idowu said. “I managed to compete the whole season and to stay injury free, so I was on the way to achieving such a result.”
Evora took silver with a jump of 17.55, and Alexis Copello of Cuba claimed the bronze with a leap of 17.36.
Trailing the Evora after two rounds, the 30-year-old Idowu came up with his best leap on his third attempt, and knew it was a good one as soon as he landed in the sand pit.
He waited for the official result to be posted with his tongue sticking out, then jumped up in the air and fell on his back, kicking his legs in celebration after the 17.73 was announced.
Idowu’s win adds an outdoor world title to the indoor crown he won in 2008, but doesn’t quite make up for missing out on gold at last year’s Beijing Olympics.
“It’s not redemption - it’s a different competition all together,” he said. “But, it is nice to be a world champion. It is nice to jump a PB (personal best). It will never make up for not winning the Olympic medal, but I have a world title which I’ve got to be proud of.”
Evora, who was trying to defend the world title he won in 2007, had three rounds to best Idowu’s jump, but could only manage a leap of 17.55 on his final jump, a minor improvement on the 17.54 her landed on his first attempt.
“Today I tried everything to do a good job, to jump my PB - I couldn’t,” Evora said. “It’s my first silver medal. And Idowu, I gave him congratulations for this competition.”