Martyn Rooney made his Olympic debut at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Rooney competed in the 400m, he won his heat, and set another lifetime best of 44.60 on his way to the final in which he was a very respectable sixth. He was also a member of the 4x400m team who placed just outside of the medals in fourth. At the Berlin 2009 World Championships, Rooney failed to make 400m final, finishing seventh in his semi-final. However, in the 4x400m relay he had more success winning silver with teammates Michael Bingham, Conrad Williams and Rob Tobin. Rooney initially trained and competed at the middle distance events of 800m and 1500m and participated in cross-country events throughout the winter months. His talent for the 400m was discovered by coincidence when he was asked to make up some points for his club at a London fixture. He made a great impact in 2005 when he won the national junior title, before winning a silver medal at the European Junior Championships, followed by a storming leg in the 4x400m relay at the World Championships in Helsinki.
Rooney gained selection for the Commonwealth Games in 2006, and he did not disappoint. In the heats, Rooney lowered his lifetime best from 45.99 to 45.69, before improving further in the semi-finals, lowering Roger Black’s national junior record to 45.35. In the final, Rooney finished fifth at the age of 18, in one of the most competitive events of the championships. However, injury ravaged the following two summer campaigns. In 2006, Rooney won the bronze medal at the World Junior Championships, when many people expected him to claim the gold medal and at the World Championships in 2007, Rooney did not progress through the heats. Free of injury, Rooney had a superb 2008 campaign and was unbeaten in 11 straight races prior to the Olympic Games. In his third race of the year, Rooney revised his lifetime best, clocking 45.19, which was followed by victories in Ostrava, the European Cup and the Olympic Trials, before finally breaking the 45-second barrier in London, winning a high quality race in a PB of 44.83, before winning in Monaco, running 44.72.Martyn Rooney is a multiple national champion and he was selling sweets at a school sports day when he learned London had won the 2012 Olympics.Rooney ranks eighth on the all-time British 400m list.
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