Martyn Rooney, Croydon’s 400 metres national champion, tonight announced that he would take the advice of nine-time world champion Michael Johnson and silence his Twitter feed, at least until after Friday night’s European championship final in Barcelona.
Rooney had earlier this evening Tweeted that he was a “Silly boy”, after he misjudged his semi-final run in the Mont Juic Stadium, placing only third and sneaking into the final as one of the two fastest losers.
Johnson, the only man in Olympic history to win both the 200 and 400m at the same Games, is working in Barcelona for the BBC.
In commentary the American criticised Rooney’s apparent lack of concentration for easing up before the finishing line.
Johnson blamed it on modern athletes’ habit of providing a running commentary on their lives on Twitter.
Rooney, 23, realising that he will be penalised for his short-comings in the semi-final with an outside lane draw in Friday night’s final, knows that as the second fastest man in Europe over one lap this summer, he still has a gilt-edged chance of a major championship medal.
And when Michael Johnson offers advice, most athletes happily take it.
So back at his athletes’ hotel tonight, Croydon Harrier Rooney ventured on to Twitter for one last time – at least until after the final.
@MartynRooney wrote: “Right MJ has said lay off the twitter so you know what I’m gona listen to him, until late friday night, much love twitter, peace”.