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Embarrassment for UK Athletics as hammer star is forced to leave team camp due to inadequate facilities ahead of World Championships

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 19/09/2019 Riath Al-Samarrai for MailOnline
England's Nick Miller reacts in the athletic's men's hammer throw final during the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games at the Carrara Stadium on the Gold Coast on April 8, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Adrian DENNIS        (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images) © Getty Images England's Nick Miller reacts in the athletic's men's hammer throw final during the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games at the Carrara Stadium on the Gold Coast on April 8, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Adrian DENNIS (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)

UK athletics have suffered an embarrassing logistics failure ahead of the World Championships in Doha after one of their medal hopes was forced to relocate away from the team holding camp in Dubai because there were inadequate hammer facilities.

Nick Miller, who won the gold medal in the hammer at the Commonwealth Games last year, had planned to be at the base but has instead gone to Turkey to finalise his preparations.

While it is understood there were no health and safety issues with the hammer apparatus, the fact it wasn’t deemed suitable for purpose amounts to a baffling oversight.

a man riding a skateboard up the side of a fence: Nick Miller has had to leave UK athletic's training base in Doha due to poor facilities © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Nick Miller has had to leave UK athletic's training base in Doha due to poor facilities

With the Championships starting a week on Friday, the scenario calls into question the planning and site visits by UKA across the past two years since the last world championships in London in 2017.

Against this disruptive backdrop, Miller will be one of Britain’s contenders for a medal in the Middle East.

Britain's best medal hopes for the Tokyo Olympics (Read Sport)

The 26-year-old took sixth place at London 2017 before breaking the British record last season with a throw of 80.26m on his way to Commonwealth gold in Australia. Ahead of Doha, where his competition will start on October 1, he stands seventh in the world based on his performances in 2019.

This episode will cause significant irritation at UKA, who had prided themselves on landing the base.

a man wearing a uniform: The news comes as a blow to the team who are expecting Miller to place well on the podium © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The news comes as a blow to the team who are expecting Miller to place well on the podium

In Thursday’s issue of Athletics Weekly, performance director Neil Black had written: ‘We’ve been very fortunate to secure a great training location in Dubai, where the majority of the team will be based. The preparation venues will give athletes, their coaches and support teams opportunity to get used to the processes required to prepare to compete, deal with competition conditions and finalise their recovery procedures.’

The decision to stick with Dubai as a training camp had already raised eyebrows by some figures around the team in recent months owing to the Qatari diplomatic crisis, which has meant there are no direct flights between Dubai and Doha. The team will instead fly via Kuwait.

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