Team GB's Martyn Rooney aims to succeed in the face of London rioters
Runner Martyn Rooney has said he will make his Olympic performance count a year after rioters devastated his local borough of Croydon.
Rooney, who races in round one of the men’s 400 metres on Saturday, said he was “pissed off” and “embarrassed” as he watched the looting in Croydon on TV last year.
The 25-year-old athlete had moved to Loughborough to train but his parents, Liam, a carpenter, and Marie, a primary school assistant, still live in Thornton Heath. Rooney, who attended St James the Great RC Primary School and then John Fisher School in Purley, was devastated when rioters burned down furniture store Reeves Corner, where he was revered by longest-serving member of staff, Ron Hillman.
He said: “I was just really sad. I’d brought my sofa from Reeves Corner the year before and the guy was an athletics fan and gave me a discount.”
Rooney — who is also part of the 4x400 metre relay squad with Lewisham’s Conrad Williams — now wants to focus fully on performing in the Olympic stadium.
He said: “It’s an amazing opportunity.
“I went to Beijing and I loved it but it was a foreign land, now it’s in London and I know my way around — you’ve got to make it count and do your best. I can’t turn up there and not give it everything.”
Manchester United transfer news and rumours: David De Gea could leave for FREE; £38m for Marquinhos; £37m bid for Mats Hummels;
Danny Ings to Liverpool: The Reds attempt to steal a march on rivals in race to sign Burnley striker
Transfer news live: Juan Cuadrado Chelsea move confirmed; Louis van Gaal says Darren Fletcher will join West Ham
Kim Sears 'swearing' outburst threatens to overshadow Andy Murray's Australian Open semi-final win
Kim Sears: Andy Murray defends fiancée's for outburst after a bad-tempered march to final
- 1 Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
- 2 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 4 Dad attempts revenge on teenage daughter, plan backfires spectacularly
- 5 Ball pool for adults opens in London
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
King Abdullah dead: We can't afford not to hold Saudi Arabia's royals to account