Rooney backs Team GB relay selection
Croydon's Martyn Rooney leapt to the defence of his GB teammates and the selectors after his London 2012 relay dreams were dashed.
Rooney and co found themselves in a selection row as a new-look 4x400m squad could only finish fourth in the Olympic Stadium.
Regular member of the quartet Nigel Levine was overlooked for the final in place of 400m hurdles specialist Dai Greene – a decision which sparked a torrent of social media abuse for the selectors,
led by some current GB internationals.
Rooney had the opportunity to silence those doubters in the anchor leg by bringing home a bronze medal but he couldn’t quite overhaul Trinidad and Tobago – ending fourth by 0.13 of a second.
But despite the setback Rooney insisted the selection policy was the right one.
“We put a strong team out with Dai Greene coming in. We couldn’t leave him on the bench because he is a great champion,” he said.
“We went out to try and win it because after the heats we watched everyone else and thought we could beat them.
“Fourth is a horrible place to finish. We went out there to win the 4x400m final. In our heart of hearts we would have been happy with a bronze but to be so close and yet so far is
“It was my last opportunity to race in front of a home crowd like that for five years and so miss out on a medal in front of that crowd is gutting.
“It is disappointing but that is the way Olympic finals go – countries raised their game. They changed the orders of who ran which leg.
“They front-loaded it with their best runners first and if they put world and Olympic champions and medallists on first leg you are going to be chasing.”
Welshman Greene was not the only hurdles specialist in the GB line-up with Jack Green also part of the fourth-place quartet.
And Rooney was even more staunch in his defence of Green – admitting he had had his own doubts blown out of the water by the Kent youngster.
Having clocked the fastest 400m split in qualifying for the final, Green was second only to Rooney in the final and the Croydon ace added: “We gave it our best shot. Jack Green has come of age in
“I was the first to say I didn’t think he had that in him beforehand and he came out and proved me wrong.
“It’s amazing in a team to have those weapons and I can’t fault the team, we ran amazingly it just wasn’t enough.”
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