Miller slips his way into history

Miller slips his way into history
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Great Britain's Nick Miller on his way to hammer gold at the European Athletics U23 Championships in Tallinn.

European under-23 champion Nick Miller broke a 31-year-old British hammer record in Sweden on Wednesday night - but he almost never made it to the track.

Miller threw 77.55m at the Folksam Grand Prix in Karlstad on a day which began with him falling in the bathroom and leaving himself in pain.

He revealed: "I slipped and head-butted the sink in the bathroom this morning. I have had kind of a throbbing headache all day. I feel like I have been punched in the face a few times."

Yet, when he took his place in the hammer cage for his first throw at this European Athletics Outdoor Classic Meeting, his mind was fully focused as he booked his place in domestic history.

Martin Girvan had set the old record distance of 77.54m in 1984 but Miller surpassed that to maintain a brilliant period in his career after winning gold in Tallinn two weeks ago at the European Athletics U23 Championships.

His triumph in Estonia came with a throw of 74.46m and on Wednesday he broke his personal best of 76.97m from May.

He was denied victory, though, as Tajikistan’s Dilshod Nazarov (77.95m) won it with his final throw but Miller is now ninth on the European Athletics rankings, insisting he put the 'fall' out of his mind.

I wasn’t really thinking about anything to be honest. It was with my first throw, straight out of the cage and after that I just kind of enjoyed the competition and I knew I did not need to do much more. As soon as I let go, I knew it had happened. I know the throw has been there all season and it has just been a matter of time.Nick Miller speaking to BBC Radio after the event.

Miller, whose other legal throws were 75.46m and 75.03m, believes the record has now gone because of the intensity of domestic competition, with Mark Dry, who was sixth (74.26m), having thrown 76.93m this summer and Chris Bennett 74.66m.

It was a good evening, too, for Jakub Vadlejch, of the Czech Republic, who threw a javelin personal (86.21m) to beat Sweden’s Kim Amb (82.04m).

And there were home wins for Erika Kinsey (1.94m) in the high jump, Erica Jarder (6.66m) in the women’s long jump, Andres Otterling (8.13m) in men’s long jump, while Michaela Meijer (4.36m) shared victory in the pole vault with Finland´s Minna Nikkanen.