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Giaan Leigh Rooney, OAM (born 15 November 1982) is an Australian former competitive swimmer and television personality. As a member of the Australian team in women's 4×100-metre medley relay, she won an Olympic gold medal and broke a world record at the 2004 Summer Olympics. Rooney is currently an Australian television presenter.
Rooney in November 2012
|Full name||Giaan Leigh Rooney|
|Born||15 November 1983|
|Height||1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|Weight||63 kg (139 lb)|
|Spouse(s)||Matthew Michael Renshaw (M). 2010|
Australian Institute of Sport
Rooney's career began at age 11 at the Miami club in Queensland, where she was coached by Denis Cotterell. Training partners there included Grant Hackett and Daniel Kowalski. In 2002 Rooney moved to Melbourne, coached by Ian Pope at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre. Training partners included Matt Welsh, Michael Klim (who was also her boyfriend for two years) and Brett Hawke.
Rooney made her international swimming debut for Australia at the 1998 Commonwealth Games, where she won a gold medal in the 100 m backstroke as a 15-year-old. Rooney was also part of Australia's gold-medal winning 4×100-metre medley relay team at the 1998 Games.
At the 2000 Olympics in Sydney Rooney won two silver medals as a part of the 4×200-metre freestyle relay (with Kirsten Thomson, Susie O'Neill and Petria Thomas) and 4×100-metre medley relay (swam in morning preliminary session).
In 2001 Rooney claimed the world champion title in the 200 m freestyle, winning at the 2001 Fukuoka World Swimming Championships in Japan. This meet was also widely remembered for the disqualification of the Australian women's team after they jumped in the water to celebrate apparent victory in the 4×200-metre freestyle relay: the team of Elka Graham, Petria Thomas and Linda Mackenzie joined anchor swimmer Rooney in the water to celebrate their win, but as it was before all other competitors had finished the event, they were disqualified. Furthermore, the team found out about their disqualification while they were giving a post race interview for television.
Rooney competed in the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, England, winning silver in the 4×200-metre freestyle relay (with Elka Graham, Rebecca Creedy and Petria Thomas) and bronze in the 100-metre backstroke.
In 2004 Rooney won a gold medal in world record time at the 2004 Summer Olympics in the women's 4×100-metre Medley Relay. Rooney swam a personal best and new Australian record time of 1:01.18 to help Australia to the gold – the maiden victory by Australia in this event in Olympic history.
After the withdrawal of Grant Hackett from the 2006 Commonwealth Games due to injury, Rooney was appointed as the captain of the national swimming team. She won a silver medal behind teammate Sophie Edington in the 100-metre backstroke, and qualified fastest for the 50-metre backstroke. However, she was upset by Edington by 0.01 of a second, again winning a silver medal. There is, however, conjecture about that official result with video suggesting Rooney touched first but did not activate the timing pad immediately. Rooney retired from competitive swimming after this meet.
Rooney has performed on television with appearances on Torvill and Dean's Dancing on Ice competition and holiday season weather presenter on Channel Nine's Today, filling in for Steven Jacobs, despite having no experience or qualification in meteorology.
Giaan also appeared as a presenter on the Nine Network's television health series What's Good For You (2007), Getaway (2007–8) and Battlefronts (2009). She also attended Bond University as a sporting scholar.
In 2010, Rooney was appointed as host of the Victorian edition of 'Postcards', a local travel series broadcast on the Nine Network replacing Suzie Wilks, and in 2011, Channel Nine appointed her as occasional host of their Sunday sports programme Nine's Wide World of Sports.
In December 2012, Rooney joined the Seven Network as a fill-in weather presenter on Seven News Melbourne while David Brown was on holidays, and in February 2013, she was appointed regular weather presenter on Seven News Melbourne replacing Brown who became network meteorologist. In January 2014, Rooney went on maternity leave, and was replaced by Jo Silvagni. Giaan returned from maternity leave in June 2014 to present weather on weekends.
In February 2015, Rooney resigned as weekend weather presenter on Seven News Melbourne, and in October 2015 she became sports anchor for Seven News Brisbane. No longer in this role, she remains part of the Seven Network's news and sport division.
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- 2001 | Australia | Disqualification | Womens 4x200m Free | Graham McKenzie Thomas Rooney | 2 of 2
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