Miley earns shot at redemption in London

09 March 2012 / 14:54

A disappointed Hannah Miley left Beijing in August 2008 determined to learn from her dejection and apply that knowledge four years later in London.

The Garioch swimmer finished sixth in the 400 metres individual medley and 11th in the 200m event at the Water Cube. But in the intervening years, the 22-year-old has won European and Commonwealth titles before finishing second in the 400m medley, her specialist event, at the World Championships in Shanghai last year.

In the British Olympic trials this week, her time of four minutes 32.67 seconds in the longer event was the second fastest ever swum in a textile suit, and she said: "You want to make a statement and see where you are at at that moment in time, you don't want to leave anything behind, you just want to give it your all."

In the 200m event, her 2:10.77 would have seen her claim any Olympic title, bar 2008 in Beijing in the dawn of the turbo-suited era. For Miley, she has made the team but also laid down a marker.

She added: "You want to make sure you get past the trials and make sure you are on the team and that you don't get pipped to the post because you can't control what anyone else does. The target is always to keep progressing and go faster and faster."

Miley is coached by her helicopter pilot father Patrick in a four-lane, 25m pool she shares with the public in Inverurie.

He revealed that after Miley jnr had made the team on the first night of competition, she said: "I don't feel as if I've just qualified" - for him a reflection of her maturity since Beijing. Miley is well known for her phenomenal work-rate and commitment described by her father as being taken "to an extraordinary level" and "not normal at all."

On her mental strength, he added: "When she was 10 or 11 I remember going to a competition and she has always been very slight, never been tall or physically big. And somebody commented: 'her skills are lovely, she will be a delightful swimmer'.

"But delightful swimmer doesn't mean champion and I can remember saying then: she's fine, she's good with the water but she'll never be mentally tough enough. And that is possibly the most inaccurate thing I have ever said in my life because it's actually the mental toughness that is her biggest asset beyond anything.

"She takes that into the pool every day, she takes that into everything, even to her organisational abilities, that takes a huge amount of mental strength. She sacrifices so much to be the best she possibly can be this summer with absolutely no stone unturned."