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Loughborough University

Beijing Olympics 2008

News from Beijing

19 August 2008

Rooney books place in final eight

Loughborough’s Martyn Rooney set a lifetime best in the 400m semis to qualify for Thursday’s final at his Olympic debut.

Rooney, who trains full time at the University, crossed the line in 44.60 seconds to progress fourth fastest through to the finals.

The 21-year-old is on great form following an impressive season that has seen him dip below the 45 second mark for the first time in his career.

"I knew I had to run a personal best to get through," said Rooney. "I played to my strengths and knew it was going to be quick so I had to dig deep.

"I could see all the other guys ahead of me - I could see Sweden's Johan Wissman was on the outside and I knew he was the man I had to beat so I took him and got him.

"I had a quick guy beside me so I was trying to watch him. I started quite well, got through my phases quite well and I was a bit cautious around the top bend but the last 100 metres was all heart. I thought I am going to chase these boys - I have trained so hard for this final."

"I was just ecstatic. There is definitely not a better place to break a personal best than at the Olympics - I just have to break it again tomorrow.

"I just want to do the best I can in the final, get a personal best and see what happens," he added. "It is an Olympics final and there are very high standards, and the competition will be tough.

"Jeremy Wariner is the man to beat. LaShawn Merritt is running very well also so I just have to put myself in a position to race them. I am feeling good and have more to give."

In the 110m Hurdles, graduate Andy Turner finished fifth in his semi final heats. His time of 13.53 seconds was not enough to see him through to the final.

Loughborough University - Beijing 2008

Beijing facts

There are 55 Loughborough athletes in action at the Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Did you know?

Former Olympic Champion Sebastian Coe is a Loughborough graduate.

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