Team GB athlete Martin Rooney has issued an apology after stating he 'ran like a d**k' on live television.
Much was expected of the 29-year-old following his triumph in the European Championships earlier this summer. Rooney retained his 400m title in Amsterdam and was widely expected to make the final in Rio.
However, he finished disappointing fifth in his heat on Friday evening with a time of 45.6 seconds. That is almost a second behind his personal best, set in Beijing last year and he was clearly disappointed.
He told the BBC afterwards that he “ran like a d**k".
“I don't know what I was doing the first 250m,” he continued. “I’m just gutted for myself and everyone that's supported me.”
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Heat of the moment
Of course, four years of training only to go out in the very first round was a very disappointing result for a man considered a dark horse for a medal. The comments in the interview were said in the heat of the moment and he later issued a statement on his Twitter account to apologise for both his performance and his choice language.
He said: "Honoured to represent my country, disappointed to run so poor on the biggest stage. I moved on quickly from the Europeans and the main goal this season was to make the final here in Rio.
"I tried to come into the race as relaxed as possible and it showed, too slow through 200m is something that you can't do at this level. Hopefully Matt [Hudson-Smith] can do the business and make the final.
"Apologies for my language post race, I need to sort out my head out [sic] for the relay and deliver for the guys when I'm needed."
Rooney will have a chance to redeem himself in the 4x400m relay which begins in the early hours of Saturday morning next week [BST].
Great Britain are placed at 18/1 to win the gold medal in the event behind the USA, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica. Rooney was part of the team that finished fourth in the same event at the London Games.
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