MORE medal success is the aim for a West Fife running star as two major competitions begin to loom closer on the horizon.

The coach of Owen Miller, the current T20 1500 metres Paralympic champion, has set his sights on further success for the talented athlete at next year’s World Para Athletics Championships, as well as the next Paralympic Games, which will be held in 2024.

Steve Doig, who this year was shortlisted for Para Performance Coach of the Year at the 4J Studios scottishathletics awards, also revealed that the introduction of Owen to his athletics training group, and subsequent success last year in Tokyo, was one of his biggest achievements in coaching.

In a ‘meet the coaches’ feature with UKA (United Kingdom Athletics), the Fife AC coach discussed his own background within the sport as a competitor, and subsequent move into coaching, which began in 2006.

As well as with his club, Steve also hosts a training group based at Pitreavie Athletics Centre, featuring able-bodied and disability athletes from a cross-section of clubs.

Owen, who celebrated his 31st birthday last month, joined Steve’s endurance running group in 2016, and his coach is looking ahead to the World Para Athletics Championships, which take place in Paris in July, and the following year’s Paralympics, which will also be held in the French capital.

“In the short-term, there are Para World Championships in 2023 and, looking ever closer, are the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games,” Steve told UKA.

“The ambitions going forward are to get several of the athletes within the group involved in the British teams and, in the T20 1500m, the aim is to try and win more medals in this classification.

“Looking slightly further ahead, it would be nice to get an athlete/athletes involved in a Scottish Commonwealth Games team. We went close this year but, unfortunately, it wasn’t to be. Hopefully, it will be a different story in four years.”

When asked what he considered his biggest achievement in coaching to be, Steve replied: “The introduction of Owen to the group provided the opportunity to have an athlete perform at Paralympic level.

“In 2021, he became the Tokyo Paralympic Games champion in the T20 1500m final. This was the culmination of five years of hard work and was a great reward for the dedication and effort he puts into the sport.

“Stepping back slightly from this performance, I think the biggest achievement from a coaching perspective is that over this period we have, as a group, managed to support Owen’s training and racing to enable him to improve year on year and eventually win his Paralympic gold medal. His victory was an outstanding personal achievement but its foundations were facilitated by the efforts of his training partners.

“I’ve been lucky as a coach to work with a group of athletes who all have their own ambitions but who were prepared to also devote time to helping with this process.”

After becoming Paralympic champion on what was his Games debut, running a stunning race of three minutes and 54.57 seconds to finish ahead of Alexandr Rabotnitskii, of the Russian Paralympic Committee, and Italy’s Ndiaga Dieng, Owen was named as Para Athlete of the Year for 2021 by scottishathletics and was awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours List.

He was also named Sports Personality of the Year for 2021 as part of Dunfermline and West Fife Sports Council’s Sports Awards.