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It’s back to the drawing board for Van Rooyen

Van Rooyen

By Mark Etheridge

On paper Rocco van Rooyen’s World Championships would be one of the more disappointing aspects of an excellent South African performance at the IAAF World Championships in London over the last 10 days.

Van Rooyen failed to get out of the javelin qualifying group, and for a man with an 85.39 metre best, it hurt the big Capetonian.

He was unable to get within 10m of the 83m qualifying mark to make the final, and his three efforts measured 73.93, 74.02 and 70.27.

But he’s not letting that get him down… ‘I know what the problem is. There’s something in my ankle that is catching, and if I throw at high speeds then my blocking leg gives in totally,’ he told Team SA.

I’ve had some of my best throws this year at low speed and even my 84m this year was with a leg that was half right.

‘I’ve been for all the scans and seen doctors and specialists, but they still can’t see precisely what the problem is, as everything looks normal on the scans.

‘It’s just so, so frustrating. Coach Terseus and I trained very nicely here and on slow throws I was feeling really good, but at a big comp like worlds I need more speed and that’s when the leg gives in. So I guess I’ll have to go and look for more opinions.

’So I’m not sad, just disappointed because I’m actually in great shape, just about the best I’m in. As soon as this leg gets sorted out I’m sure I’ll soon be back to my old self.

‘For now I must just grit my teeth and not let it get me down. It sucks, but I’m sure something big is just around the corner.’

Picture of Van Rooyen in World Championships action courtesy of Michael Steele/Getty Images


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