WEST FIFE champion Owen Miller is one of 39 athletes that have been named on a prestigious funding initiative for the next year.

The 30-year-old, who last year won gold at the Tokyo Paralympic Games in the T20 classification 1500 metres, has been named on UK Athletics’ Paralympic World Class Programme (WCP) for 2022/23.

The UK Sport, National Lottery funded initiative supports the delivery of success at named milestone targets, namely outdoor track World and European championships, and the Paralympic Games, and is split into several levels reflecting actual and potential performance levels of individuals.

Athletes who are nominated are chosen to further the aim of UK Athletics to win medals at the 2024 and / or the 2028 editions of the Paralympic Games, which will take place in Paris and Los Angeles respectively.

Owen, who stormed to a stunning win in his first Paralympics last year, is one of six Scots to have been named on the programme, demonstrating to UK Athletics that he has the “realistic potential and demonstrable performance capability and capacity to make the necessary progress to achieve a medal at least in one of the next two Paralympic Games”.

The Fife AC and Disability Sport Fife star is coached by Steve Doig, who also runs a cross-club training group at Pitreavie which Owen is a part of, and is one of seven reigning Paralympic champions that will be part of the programme.

Athletes on the initiative are split into podium, podium potential and confirmation levels, and former Woodmill High School pupil Owen has been named at podium level, alongside T35 100m sprinter Maria Lyle, who won bronze at last year’s Games in Tokyo and is coached by Jamie Bowie, who previously had links to Dunfermline Track and Field Club.

Following his success at the Games, Owen was named as scottishathletics’ Para Athlete of the Year and in the New Year honours list he was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to athletics. He was also named Dunfermline and West Fife Sports Council’s Sports Personality of the Year.

Tom Paulson, head of Paralympic performance at UK Athletics, commented: “We have an exciting and important period coming up for the sport, and I’m looking forward to working with the athletes and coaches to make sure they have the required support to be in the best position to achieve success in Paris and / or Los Angeles.”