Miley hopes for birthday joy in London

At the Beijing Olympics Hannah Miley’s birthday fell on the same day as a party she couldn’t attend – but four years on she’s planning to celebrate turning 23 in style.

Eurosport

Miley saw her 19th birthday coincide with the day of the opening ceremony of the 2008 Games in China although she wasn’t allowed to enjoy it with the 400m medley heats the evening after.

There will be no such repeat at this summer’s Olympics in London however as events in the pool draw to a close on August 4 and four days before Miley’s birthday.

Her individual campaign will have finished well before that too with the 400m medley final on the first day of swimming, July 28, and the 200m equivalent three days later.

Miley booked her swims at the British Gas Championships in March – leaving London with world leading times in both – and is determined to see in her birthday in style once and for all.

“In Beijing it was a bit of a joke that opening ceremony was my ultimate party but I was racing the next day so obviously I couldn’t attend,” said Miley.

“So it is nice to have it fall after the Games this time so I can enjoy it. Things have changed a lot since Beijing. I was considered one of the younger ones on the team then.

“But four years later I am considered as a bit of a veteran. It is amazing what four years can do to you but certainly as an individual I feel I have matured a lot more.

“I have become a bit more professional in my sport. I really take pride in my training and in my swimming in general. I do everything I can for my sport.

“Every effort that I put in, I try and think about my competitors and what they would be doing and ask myself if they are working just as hard? So to slack off is kind of a rare thing.”

Miley appears to have made the right tracks in the four years since her Olympic debut in Beijing, where she finished 11th in the 200m medley and sixth in the 400m equivalent.

At the 2009 World Championships she was fourth in the 400m and sixth in the 200m while at the Europeans and Commonwealth Games a year later, individually, two golds and a bronze were garnered.

They were Miley’s first-ever major international long course medals while her return to the global stage last year produced 400m silver and she’s adopting an if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it policy towards London.

“Nothing changes this year. My dad Patrick, who is also my coach, still has to fly helicopters because he is a full-time pilot and it is for the benefit of my family. That pays the bills and keeps us going,” she added.

“So he still has to manage that and we have managed this far with him working as a helicopter pilot and a part-time coach or voluntary coach and it has worked.

“We are trying not to change it too much but any opportunity he gets where he is able to be there as a coach we take advantage of it and that is great.”

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