Olympic silver medallist Phillips Idowu insists he can handle the pressure of being one of Britain’s few medal prospects at the forthcoming World Championships.
Of Britain’s four medallists from Beijing, only Idowu and 400 metres champion Christine Ohuruogu will travel to Berlin, with Ohuruogu out of form and hampered by injury.
Tasha Danvers (400m hurdles) and Germaine Mason (high jump) have been forced out through injury and heptathlete Jessica Ennis is the only team member with a world_leading performance this season.
But Idowu will take it all in his stride as he tries to make up for the disappointment of being pipped to Olympic gold by just five centimetres last year.
“I was in the same situation last year, it doesn’t make that much difference,” the 30_year_old said from the team’s training camp in Portugal.
“There has always been talk about me being a medal contender. It doesn’t make a difference what people say and write about me. I just have to do what I have done all year.
“It’s another competition. I have been doing it for the last nine years. It’s another competition I have to do well at.”
Idowu started the outdoor season well with two jumps of 17.60m within the space of four days, but has struggled to reproduce that form since.
He was only third in the Aviva London Grand Prix at Crystal Palace last month with a best of 17.16m but insists such results will count for nothing in Berlin.
“It doesn’t really matter what you do before a major championships,” added the colourful Londoner.
“If I put in a massive distance at Crystal Palace, after the World Championships no one is going to be looking back at the results from Crystal Palace and saying ‘It’s a shame you didn’t get a medal in Berlin but at least you put in a big jump at Crystal Palace’.
“All that really matters is who picks up the medals. If I only scrape a qualifying distance but then win the world’s then no_one is going to say you only scraped into the final.”