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Martyn Rooney ponders switch to 800m

Rooney ponders switch to 800m
By Sportsbeat

15/10/2017 at 15:02Updated 15/10/2017 at 17:43

Martyn Rooney is the first to admit his 2017 has hardly been a year to remember but big changes could be on the horizon as he ponders a switch to the 800m.

The two-time European 400m champion anchored Great Britain to 4x400m bronze at the World Championships in London this summer, yet has struggled with his performances in the individual event.

He finished sixth in his heat in the capital with a third-place finish in Brussels, his best performance on the Diamond League circuit.

But the 30-year-old insists that he desperately needs a motivational spark and that could come in doubling his distance on the track – a move recommended to him by Lord Seb Coe.

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Yet Rooney is under no illusions as to the challenges that await if he is to switch, knowing only too well he can't take anything for granted at this stage of his career.

"I have to find some new goals and find something that is going to excite me," he said.

"Seb Coe says I need to go and run an 800m, so we'll see what the winter brings.

"A change is as good as a rest and there are some great 800m coaches in Loughborough, so it would be great to jump into a couple of sessions and see how it goes.

Matthew Hudson-Smith, Dwayne Cowan, Rabah Yousif and Martyn Rooney of Great Britain, bronze, pose with their medals for the Men's 4x400 Metres Relay final during day ten of the 16th IAAF World Athletics Championships London 2017 at The London Stadium on

Matthew Hudson-Smith, Dwayne Cowan, Rabah Yousif and Martyn Rooney of Great Britain, bronze, pose with their medals for the Men's 4x400 Metres Relay final during day ten of the 16th IAAF World Athletics Championships London 2017 at The London Stadium onGetty Images

"It's not been a great year – in fact it's been an awful year – but it's a year when I asked for two things: a healthy baby [his daughter Ciada was born in August] and a world medal.

"I got both. I got the things I wanted, so I can't be greedy. It's my 11th year on the circuit and sometimes, you are going to have a bad year."

While the athletics world is turning its attentions to next year's Commonwealth Games on Australia's Gold Coast, Rooney faces the possibility of remaining on British shores after not reaching the qualifying standard.

But an opportunity could arise if selectors decide to send a relay squad Down Under, with Rooney even offering to pay his own way.

"The Commonwealth Games is completely out of my control," he said.

"I haven't hit the standard and they don't know if they are going to take a relay team because of the cost.

"I've said I'll pay for my flights. I don't mind doing it but it's up to the selectors and whether they want to take a team or not.

"My senior individual debut was in Melbourne, so it would be nice to go back and have another go.

"With a good winter behind me, you never know what could happen."

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