Martyn Rooney will take on an added responsibility at this month’s World Championships after being named as captain of the Great Britain team in Beijing.
The European 400m champion was selected by British Athletics performance director Neil Black to lead the 63-strong team who will compete at the Bird’s Nest stadium from August 22-30.
Rooney, who recently won his appeal to compete in the individual 400m as well as part of the 4x400m relay squad, has previous experience of competing in Beijing having previously run at the IAAF World Junior Athletics Championships in 2006 and also again at the 2008 OIympics – finishing sixth in the 400m final also held at the iconic venue.
“It has always been an honour to represent my country and something I've been lucky enough to do for the last 10 years,” said Rooney, who finished fourth in the 400m at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
“In many ways everything really started to kick off for me in Beijing at the World Juniors in 2006 when I won the bronze medal, so to now to have the privilege of returning to China and captaining the British Athletics team at the World Champs is a job and a responsibility that fills with me with great pride.”
At 28 years, Rooney is one of the more experienced members of the team which will be looking to build upon their seventh place finish in the medals table two years ago in Moscow.
They picked up seven medals, including double gold for Mo Farah and another title for Christine Ohuruogu, with British Athletics performance director Neil Black confident Rooney was the right man to lead the team.
“There are some very experienced athletes in our squad, which includes three current Olympic champions, as well as those just embarking on their international careers, so I was looking for someone who can help bridge the generations and unite the individual athletes as a team,” he said.
“I feel that Martyn is the perfect person for this role as he commands the respect of all his teammates and has the invaluable experience of competing in Beijing previously; most significantly in the 2008 Olympics at the Bird’s Nest itself – the very stadium hosting this year’s World Championships.
“But it is more than just experience that he will bring to the post, he is a natural born leader and has the ability to inspire. I am delighted he has accepted this role.”
© Sportsbeat 2015