Rooney: I wasn't good enough to make Olympic final
Having given up a normal life in pursuit of an Olympic medal at London 2012 – Martyn Rooney admits he is struggling to come to terms with the cruel realisation that he wasn’t good
The 25-year-old made his Olympic debut in Beijing in 2008 and set a new personal best of 44.60seconds in the 400m semi-finals before finishing an impressive sixth in the medal showdown.
Such a performance suggested that with four more years of training and experience Rooney would be capable of challenging for a medal at London 2012 – however he didn’t even reach the final.
He finished fifth in his semi-final in 45.31seconds – 0.71 shy of the personal best he set at the corresponding race in Beijing – to rank equal 14th and well outside the top eight.
Rooney couldn’t point the finger of blame on his preparations, sacrificing everything for Olympic glory, instead attempting to come to terms with the fact that he isn’t the sprinter he thought he
“The first bit was really good, I think I did really well in the first 300m and then I tried to open my stride and pull away but it just wasn’t there,” said Rooney.
“I don’t really know why it wasn’t there – I trained really hard and make all the sacrifices people talk about; I lost a social life and a life with the training I did this year.
“I can’t say I didn’t do all the work because I did all the work. I did not miss that much time from training with injuries, it just was not good enough and that’s all I can say.
“I came here to make a mark for myself and feel I started well and the middle was not terrible, I just could not pick it up again in time.
“I will probably find that I go to the next couple of Diamond Leagues and start running 43 seconds or something stupid like that. It just did not happen on the day and that’s a shame.”
Rooney can still win an Olympic medal in London – albeit not an individual one – with the British men’s 4x400m relay team an outside shot for a trip to the podium.
He is expected to lead the team home and, with his individual disappointment firmly in mind, Rooney has vowed to do all he can to gain some satisfaction from London 2012.
“I have got the relay so I will do my best for the team and I think we have got a great chance of medal if we come out and all do our jobs,” he added.
“Touch wood we will all over get this quite quickly and get ready for a big relay. I think if you get an Olympic medal then you are never disappointed so that is my aim.”
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