Sadly, I have to announce today that my dream of competing in my 7th consecutive Paralympic Games in Tokyo, is over.
Last week I learned that I had not been selected in the British Para Athletics team for Tokyo, the selection panel didn’t feel I was a medal prospect. Recently I was informed by email that my appeal against my non-selection was unsuccessful.
That means for the first time in 25 years I won’t be competing in the men’s F32 Club Throw event at the Paralympics. It also means that there are no male seated throwers in the British team going to Tokyo, very sad indeed.
It’s a very strange and weird feeling not to be selected for the team. I’m disappointed not to have been given the opportunity to win another Paralympic medal, having worked so hard to put myself in a good position to do so. I’m the only World Class Performance Podium funded athlete not to be selected for Tokyo – that hurts.
It feels like Deja Vu from 2019, when I wasn’t selected for the World Championships – the first time in my entire career that I hadn’t been selected for a GB team. I know that no one has a God-given right to be selected, but I feel that I haven’t been given the rub of the green again.
I’ve shown this year that I can still compete at the highest level with my performances at the European Championships, where I narrowly missed out on a medal against 3 of the best athletes in the world. I then showed form and fitness with 30.44m at the English Championships in Bedford.
30 metres is the benchmark for Club Throw and this is my 22nd consecutive season where I’ve thrown over 30 metres – something I’m very proud of. To have thrown 31.50m in the qualification period and not be considered medal potential is crazy. It’s a hard decision for me to accept and get my head around.
It’s very hard to take that my Paralympic journey has been ended like this, I know I would’ve challenged for a medal in Tokyo and represented GB to the fullest. This is not the end for me, I still have a lot to give this sport and I enjoy it too much to stop now. I will still be chucking sticks in future.
It will be so strange to be watching the Paralympics from home, but I will be supporting the team intently. There are lots of great athletes going to Tokyo and I wish them all the best, I’m sure they’ll do brilliantly. Special regards to fellow Gateshead Harrier Anna Nicholson, who is going to her first Games.
I will still be involved with the Games as I am the ParalympicsGB nomination for the IPC Athletes Council. The vote is taking place in Tokyo where the athletes will vote 6 new members onto the Council. I hope to be elected so I can continue to have a positive influence on the Paralympic movement that I care so much about. I won’t be in Tokyo to lobby for votes so I will be campaigning from afar.
There will be no lucky 7th Paralympics for me this year. I want to thank everyone for their support in my journey, not least my incredible Mam who has battled the pain and discomfort of needing a new hip to be at every training session and competition as my coach this year. Also, to my amazing wife who is my rock through thick and thin.
This one pinches, but Team Miller will be back.