“You just have to roll with it” claims Team GB Olympic sprinter

Friday, March 20th, 2020 4:21pm

By Josh O’Brien @JoshJohnOBrien1

British sprinter Martyn Rooney, who specialises in the 400 meters event, has claimed any athletes training in preparation for the Olympics this summer may have to take any kind of delay to proceedings on the chin.

The Olympic Games are scheduled to take place in Tokyo of July this year. However, the idea of the games actually taking place on time has been plunged into serious doubt in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

COVID-19 has already caused pretty much all sport to stop in its tracks, with the Premier League not set to return until April the 30th. UEFA confirmed earlier this week that this summer’s European Championships will be put back a year and commence in the summer of 2021.

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Other sporting tournaments and music festivals festivals have also fallen victim to the virus and have been postponed for a later date; the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have left many scratching their heads as to why it’s taking so long for clarity.

Speaking to Love Sport Drive, Team GB sprinter and 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Martyn Rooney revealed his views on the fact the games are, as it stands, still scheduled to take place.

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“I think most athletes believe it’s quite irresponsible of the IOC really. Sport is there as entertainment, it’s there as a way for people to escape from their problems but it shouldn’t be at the risk of everybody’s health.

“It’s not just the athletes but the supporters to, all the staff around them, we are in a pandemic at the moment and sport really isn’t that important.”

Rooney claimed how the IOC need to take a realistic approach when it comes to the games and concede defeat over the prospect of them taking place whilst the virus is still so prominent.

“Maybe they [IOC] have more information, I can’t speak for them, I’d love it to carry on, I’d love it to be in two months time everything is fine and we are all happy as if nothing happened but you have got to be pragmatic and realistic about what’s going on and what’s going to happen.

"Even if the Olympics does go ahead, people still have to qualify, people have to arrange travel and there is so much organisation that needs to go on in such a short space of time.

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“For an athlete, it’s very easy just to keep on training as best you can, it gives you routine, it gives you something to focus on and maybe that’s why they are telling us it’s going ahead. But, the risks are there and when you see other sporting, like FIFA and UEFA moved their European championship to next year, you kind of hope the IOC follow suit.”

Rooney did go on to discuss how difficult it is for an athlete to try and train at full intensity in the midst of such uncertainty.

“I can only speak for Athletics but we train eight to ten months of the year to go for one season which is about two months long, so you can’t just switch off training and expect to be back for whenever they say, you’re going to have to keep training and working hard, you might just have to switch your intensity.

“My training is all built towards me peaking in July so that might have to slow down, the focus will change and I’ll let better people than me decide that, my coach is much smarter than me, you just have to roll with it.”

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