TRACK stars Eilidh Doyle and Owen Miller have been boosted ahead of next summer’s Olympics and Paralympics with membership of a British Athletics initiative.

Pitreavie AAC 400 metres hurdles and 4x400m relay star Doyle, and T20 classification 1500m para runner Miller, from Dunfermline, are two of 117 athletes who have been offered places on the governing body’s 2020/2021 Olympic and Paralympic World Class Programme (WCP).

With the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games postponed until next year due to COVID-19, British Athletics have moved to retain those on the programme in 2019/2020, saying that they are “fully committed to continuing their support” following the “challenging circumstances” created by the pandemic.

Doyle, who four years ago won a 4x400m bronze medal at the Games held in Rio de Janeiro, has been offered WCP membership at Olympic Relay level, while Miller, who made his debut for Great Britain at the World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai 12 months ago, has been granted Paralympic Podium Potential status.

There are three levels of WCP membership at Olympic level – Olympic Podium, Olympic Podium Potential and Olympic Relays – and two at Paralympic level, which are Paralympic Podium and Paralympic Podium Potential.

The programme is UK Sport’s National Lottery-funded initiative to “support the delivery of success at the world’s most significant sporting events”, and membership is based on an individual athlete’s realistic potential to win a medal at either Tokyo 2020 or Paris 2024.

As well as her success four years ago, in which she also finished eighth in the hurdles, Doyle competed at London in 2012 and has won European Championship 4x400m gold, in 2016, as well has having a bronze medal from the 2013 World Championships upgraded to silver after Russia were disqualified for doping offences.

Miller, a former Woodmill High School pupil ran a PB 1500m time of 3:53.98 earlier this year.

Steve Paulding, director of British Athletics’ WCP, said: “The last few months have provided many challenges for everyone so we are pleased to be able to retain all the athletes who were on the World Class Programme last year, for 2021.

“These discussions are taking place following a year in sport which has been like no other we have experienced. I’d like to thank the National Lottery and UK Sport for their continued investment in the World Class Programme. The support enables our athletes to be the best prepared in their quest for success at the world’s most significant sporting events.”