Miley happy to avoid immediate focus

21 July 2012 / 22:00

Hannah Miley is pleased to have avoided the responsibility of kicking off Great Britain's Olympic challenge at the start of what home fans hope will be a gold rush.

As the world silver medallist, Miley should be walking to her blocks for the final of the 400 metres individual medley in confident mood at around 8.10pm next Saturday night.

The 22-year-old will be heavily backed to add to any British medals claimed on the first day of Olympic competition, most notably Mark Cavendish in the cycling road race.

David Carry and Robbie Renwick will already have competed in the 400m freestyle and Roberto Pavoni and Joe Roebuck will have gone in the 400m individual medley, in which Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte face off for the first time.

Cavendish is one of the favourites in his event and Miley is glad she will not be subject to the glare to which he will be exposed as Britain's first medal contender.

She said: "He's the very, very first event and that's fine. I'd rather have that than (me) being (in) the very first event. I've got Joe, Pav and Robbie Renwick and David Carry racing before me - I'm not technically the very first final, the very first race - that's quite nice to know."

London will be Miley's second Olympics. Sixth in Beijing, where she was disappointed with her performance, was followed by fourth at the World Championships in Rome in 2009. The Garioch swimmer then claimed European and Commonwealth titles in 2010 before her breakthrough on the global stage at the World Championships last year in Shanghai.

She is ranked second in the world in 2012, her time of four minutes 32.67 seconds at the Olympic trials in March bettered only by world champion Elizabeth Beisel, who lowered her own textile world record at the US trials last month to 4mins 31.74secs.

Miley attributes part of her success to having worked with sports psychologist Misha Botting from the Scottish Institute of Sport and can now appreciate its importance.

She said: "You can get your body 90% ready but the last 10 is all in your head. Races can be won and lost in the call room. It's really important - even though a lot of people think there is not a lot to it because it's not a physical thing, something you can work on to get stronger."