Athletics: Rooney disappoints after sluggish start

Martyn Rooney narrowly failed to justify his favourite's tag when he was beaten to the world junior 400 metres title in Beijing yesterday.

Rooney broke Roger Black's 21-year-old UK junior record at the Commonwealth Games in March, but he could not reproduce that yesterday. He finished third behind Renny Quow of Trinidad and Justin Oliver of the United States, failing to match Harry Aikines-Aryeetey's winning 100m performance of the previous evening. "I lost it with my first three strides, I had a terrible start," said Rooney, who ran 45.87sec.

Britain could win more medals today, with Alex Nelson tipped to win gold in the 200m. After watching Nelson ease up when second in his semi-final, Aikines-Aryeetey said: "I admire Alex, he's a great athlete, who can win." Nelson goes into the final with a best of 20.69sec, with the Willie Perry, of the US, as his main rival.