1st November 2019
FUTURES IN FOCUS - OWEN MILLER
T20 1500m runner Owen Miller (coach: Steven Doig; club: Fife) is hoping that the opportunity to compete at the World Para Athletics Championships will prove to be a major stepping stone in his athletics career.
Miller will make his British debut at November’s world championships off the back of a very successful year that has seen him set a new personal best of 3:56.32 and become the second on the all-time British T20 1500m list, for athletes who compete with learning or intellectual impairments.
The Scot hopes that he will be able to showcase to the world what he can do and hopes to lay down a marker on his first appearance in a British vest.
He said: “It’s a big opportunity for me to get to know some new people and some new faces on the team but it’s also an opportunity to test myself against some of the very best athletes on the world stage.
“The championships is a big step for me because I’ve never done a big event like this before so it will help me get more confidence ahead of more major competitions. I’m a mixture of excited and nervous for the championships but I am looking forward to it.
“I’ve put all the hard work into training and my aim is to come away with a medal and that’s what I hope I can do. This is part of the leadup to Tokyo and this to me is a really good opportunity to get a medal for the British team.
“This [the WPA Championships] has been all that 2019 has built towards and it’s really good to see all the hard work paying off and I’m looking forward to seeing all the hard work pay off at the worlds when I’m on the track.”
Miller has already had some international exposure having been a medallist at the INAS World and European Championships in previous years.
His first medal on the international stage came in 2012 when he was crowned European champion over 800m and bronze medallist over 1500m, also adding a world championship 800m bronze medal indoors, but won 800m gold and 1500m silver at the 2016 European Championships in Turkey.
Miller has fond memories of his time in Turkey and thinks that an opportunity for more moments on the podium won’t be too far away for him.
He reflected: “I remember it was quite hot over there [in Turkey] but I managed to do quite well in those conditions. It was really nice to come away with a gold and silver from those championships.
“Of the two, I think getting a gold medal was really good but I was really nervous when I got the medal being up on the podium but I managed the moment well and it was really special for me and I hope I get more moments like that in the future.”
Miller’s efforts saw him named on the British Athletics Paralympic Futures Academy Programme for the 2018/19 season, which identifies athletes that have the potential to win medals at future Paralympic Games and World Championships.
He feels that the programme has helped him to structure his training plans and make more progress this year than he has done previously and he is seeing the rewards of that.
He hopes he can continue making more progression over the next 12 months and become recognised as one of the world’s top racers over the 1500m.
“It’s really good to get noticed and it gives me a chance to start making a name for myself. I’ve had the chance to meet new people and learn what they do, as well as fellow athletes.
“Having people that are able to help me with my training plans and give me advice that will benefit me through my career,” he added.