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Dan Greaves and Martyn Rooney

Martyn Rooney aiming to smash best time to win Olympic medal

9 July 2012

Loughborough University-based Martyn Rooney believes he will have to smash his personal best time in his bid for the 400 metres gold medal at the London 2012 Olympics.

The 25-year-old’s best time is the 44.6secs he ran in the semi-finals at the Beijing Olympics four years ago but he thinks he can get below 44.3 secs.

Martyn finished sixth in the final in Beijing but is aiming higher this time and says knows he will have to pull out all the stops to win a medal.

He said: “The way people are running at the moment it’s going to be 44 low (to win a medal).

“That’s my aim. I have got to run 44.3, and I think I am more than capable of doing that. We will see.

“I’d love to win the gold. I don’t race to come second or third. I want to win it, I just have to go out and do it.”

Martyn singled out the likes of America’s LaShawn Merrit, whose pb is 43.75, Grenada’s Kirani James (44.36) and Belgium’s Kevin Borlee (44.56) as his main rivals.

James won the world title last year, ahead of Merritt and Borlee.

Martyn said: “LaShawn Merritt is incredible, he has done so well this year, Kevin Borlee is in great shape and Kirani James is the current world champion, so you can’t write him off.”

Martyn booked his place at the Olympics by winning the Aviva Trials 400m in Birmingham in 45.93 secs and says he feels in ‘good shape’.

He added: “It’s very easy to motivate yourself for a home Olympics.

“I had a terrible year last year and don’t want to have that feeling again.

“The training that has gone in this year has been incredible and I’m reaping the rewards.”

Martyn has kept a low profile this year and says he intends to stay out of the media spotlight during the build-up to the Games.

“I have been trying to keep my head down, keep a low profile and get on with it,” he said.

“It’s something I need to keep a lid on. You see a lot of British athletes doing far too much media and not enough training. I am just getting on with and not selling myself.”

He said that was not about managing expectations. “I don’t care what people think I am going to do, it’s all about what I want to do,” he said.

“It doesn’t matter what people say, I have got to go out there and do the job.”

Martyn said last week’s Olympic Torch Relay, which passed through the university, made the Olympics feel ‘more real’ and that a home Olympics was ‘a pretty special opportunity’.

He said: “There’s a lot of hype, people know a lot more about it and pay a lot more attention to it.

“It’s a pretty exciting prospect. I was hoping to get tickets for the family but it was far easier to get them in Beijing.

“But it’s just amazing. I have been able to get to the Olympic Stadium, I know the facilities and it’s a pretty amazing opportunity.”

Martyn said he enjoyed doing the Q&A with Loughborough Paralympian Dan Greaves during the Torch Relay. The questions were asked by Loughborough favourite David Moorcroft.

Martyn said: “It was cool. There were a lot of past Olympians here who put me to shame with what they have done.

“They have all been very nice to me. Dave Moorcroft, a previous record holder, was doing the interviews and Dan Greaves is a hero I train with regularly.”

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