Cramlington’s Stephen Miller bounced back to medal winning form in Swansea at the IPC European Athletics Championships, taking the silver medal in the men’s F32 club throw.
It was a case of de javu for the Gateshead Harrier, who just like in the Paralympics at Beijing and in the World Championships at Christchurch, was denied a fourth consecutive title.
Having won at all three previous IPC European Championships, Miller set out his defence on the first morning of competition.
A strong field of ten athletes made for a tense and tight competition.
Miller produced a best throw of 30.68m and was in the lead until Vladislav Frolov of Russia threw a massive personal best of 34.10m to push Miller down to second place.
Poland’s Maciej Sochal took bronze with 29.59m, while Britain’s Thomas Green was fourth with 28.43m.
The competition featured most of the top ranked athletes in the world this year, and for Miller it was a return to the medal podium for the first time since having a total hip replacement after the London Paralympics.
After the operation he was told there was only a 50/50 chance of competing at the highest level again.
He said “It was a great competition and I really enjoyed being out there, mixing it up with the best in the world.
“I came here to defend my title and I think I could’ve thrown a bit further.
“The performance of the winner was a shock, but this can happen in disability sport.
“Overall, though, I’m happy and proud with another medal.
“Big thanks go out to Ros my coach, Speedflex, my physio Penny at The Performance Clinic, my chiropractor Andy at ThinkChiropractic, Mannatech, the National Lottery and everyone else who has supported me.”
This was Miller’s 26th international medal spanning 19 years of competing for his country.
He was competing at the 20th Gateshead Harriers’ Tartan Games on Sunday, which was also the first anniversary of his marriage to Rachel.
He will now turn his attention to the IPC World Championships in Doha next year.