SOUTHLAND distance runner Hannah Miller is once again competing on the world stage, representing New Zealand at the 30th World University Games (2019 Summer Universiade) in Naples, Italy this week.
The former Southland Girls’ High School pupil is the only Southlander in the 47-strong New Zealand team.
She was competing in the 5000m and 10,000m track events.
This is the second time the 2017 Oceania 1500m/5000m champion had competed at the event, having competed in the World University Games in Taipei two years ago.
“I was super excited to be apart of the team again,” she said.
“It is always such a privilege to be announced in teams regardless of whether it is a first or second time.
“My first games were an amazing experience, but I felt I underperformed and I’m eager to come back and run at my full potential,” the 21-year-old said.
The World University Games is a major international sporting event held every two years for student athletes around the world. Many athletes used the Games as a pathway to the Olympics.
This year, the Games had attracted more than 8000 participants including coaches and officials from 128 countries.
Miller said she was feeling ready for the challenge.
“I feel strong and I know I can trust the process my coach Cathy Casey and I have worked through together.
“So I am excited to get out there and see what happens when I lay it all on the line.”
The 10,000m race would be her focus, she said.
“…but I still believe I can be competitive in the 5k if I get the right race and trust my strength.
“I typically run better on tired legs and can bounce back from double races better than others, so I’m taking that as a positive and rolling into the 5k with that mentality.”
Miller is currently based in Dallas, Texas, where she is studying a double degree in Journalism and Political Science at the Southern Methodist University.
Miller said she appreciated the support of the Southland community in helping her reach this high level of competition.