By Steve Campbell, World-Track
MONACO — Great Britain’s top ranked 400 metres runner Martyn Rooney says UK Athletics is to be blamed for the injury that slowed down his preparation for the upcoming World Championships in Berlin next month.
The Olympic finallist from Beijing last summer said UKA barred him from taking his own physiotherapists to a training camp in Los Angeles, USA during his winter training, and he believes the block played strongly in the nagging hamstring injury which has been around since April.
"I had a solid set up when I was in Loughborough but unfortunately I wasn’t allowed to bring my physios with me to LA, I was blocked by the bosses at UKA," Rooney said.
"It was a shame as it would have been all fine, I had it all set up but it didn’t fit into the warm weather training camp thing.
"Getting injuries is horrible and frustrating but I’m feeling healthy now.
"Today it felt good, I just have to keep on top of it."
After opening his season impressive with a 45.35 seconds in Switzerland last month, Rooney was force to miss the UK Trials in Birmingham.
The 23-year-old then targeted last weekend’s London Grand Prix to make a good impression in his quest for selection to the worlds. But after finishing fifth in 45.63, Rooney was left feeling disappointed.
"It was a bit rubbish (performance)," he said after failing to win back the title in won last year. "I was very disappointed and I ran pretty poor but I’m just rusty.
"Down the back straight I felt quite lost but that will come with racing.
"It was windy but I want to run 44.3 seconds and I should have been able to manage that.
"Before the injury I had the best winter of my life so I expect to do better."
He will get another chance to prove his fitness when he races in Monaco on Tuesday against Olympic champion and Berlin favourite LaShawn Merritt of the United States at the Herculis 2009 Super Grand Prix meeting.
"I have got four weeks to get where I want to be for Berlin, I just need to get sharp," he said.
"I think it will come back to me, I just need a couple of races."
Another athletes on show
The meeting will also feature Olympic champion Shelly Ann Fraser of Jamaica going up against fellow countrywoman Veronica Campbell-Brown and American Carmelita Jeter in the women’s 100m dash.
Another Olympic champion, Angelo Taylor will race against Bershawn Jackson, Isa Phillips and Kerron Clement in the men’s 400m hurdles, Cuba’s Dayron Robles, the world-leader, Olympic champion and world record holder runs in the men’s 110m Hurdles, while Germany’s Ariane Friedrich and Blanka Vlasic of Croatia meet in the women’s high jump.
Also on the card is the match up between Czech Republic’s world and Olympic champion Barbora Spotakova, who will face Germany’s European champion Steffi Nerius in the women’s Javelin Throw.