Penwortham sprinter Sam Miller ticked off another box on his ‘to do’ list at the weekend as his athletics career continues on an upward curve.
Just a week after winning selection for Great Britain for the very first time when he competed at the European Team Championships in Lille, France, the 23-year-old was back in action in the 200m final at the British Championships on Sunday.
The Birmingham meeting acts as a trial for the World Championships, which take place in London, next month.
A late surge towards the line saw Miller edge past Adam Gemili, who just missed out on winning a medal at last summer’s Olympic Games in Rio, to finish fifth.
The race was won by Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake in a British Championship record time of 20.18 with Danny Talbot (20.20) in second.
For Miller, however, it was another fine performance, especially as he has only recently switched his attentions to the 200m from the 100m.
He finished in exactly the same position in Lille – smashing his personal best to record a time of 20.79.
“I was delighted with my performance on Sunday,” said Miller, who is a former member of Preston Harriers.
“That’s the first time I’ve ever made a British Championship final.
“I went in ranked 10th in the UK so I was really pleased with a fifth place finish in arguably the strongest field the event has ever seen.
“I’d have liked to have used the great conditions to my advantage and run another pb but it was a big ask considering how tired my body felt from the weekend before.”
Reflecting on his international debut, the Hutton Grammar School pupil admitted it was a dream come true to finally pull on the GB vest.
In what was a largely development GB squad for the European Team Championships, Miller was able to exceed expectation levels by reaching the fina.
He said: “The beauty of the Europeans was that there was no pressure or expectation on myself.
“On paper I wasn’t even expected to make the final which allowed me to remain relaxed throughout and enjoy the occasion.”
Miller, who still works full-time, is set to take a short break from the sport to recharge his batteries.
SATURDAY: Read the Big Interview with Sam Miller in the Lancashire Post