“I guess what happened last night was the events at the end of the 5,000m [in which Mo Farah won silver]. It’s part of sport and I think most athletes are ready to accept it.”
Rooney, the twice European champion has had a poor season by his standards and has not broken 46 seconds all years, but in the relay he becomes a different animal. And once again he pounced.
But Niels de Vos, the chief executive of UK Athletics and London 2017, claimed Bolt would understand. He said: “It’s an unfortunate inevitability that the final event of any world championship is often slightly later than timetabled. I expect Usain himself would be the very last person to complain, not least because often he’s been the cause of events being delayed because of the mass celebration that happens around him.
“We had four fourths on the track that collectively were less than two tenths of a second away from being four medals. They weren’t medals, but this is a team in transition and coming out having our most finalists ever as we push towards the next Olympiad is a great place for British athletics to be in.”
That is at the low end of the target of six to eight set by UK Sport. But given that eight days into these championships they only had one medal, from Sir Mo Farah, to their name their performance director Neil Black will be delighted by his late swing in fortune.