Miller aims to raise the bar in Rio

Published 7 August 2016 (AEDT)

Larrissa Miller aims to raise the bar in Rio ©

Larrissa Miller has lifted the bar on the difficulty of her routines at her second Olympics which could see her join the ranks of the country’s best female gymnasts in Olympic history if she progresses through tomorrow’s (Sunday) qualification round.

Miller, 24, is Australia’s sole women’s artistic representative, after Australia failed to qualify a team for the Olympics for the first time in 28 years, has set herself routines with start scores of 6.1 in the uneven bars and 6.4 on the floor (5.8 in London in 2012).

If executed to the level of perfection that drives Miller every time she trains, she will join just a handful of Australia women’s artistic gymnasts to record top eight (finals) individual apparatus results in Olympic competition.

“I’m a perfectionist in terms of what it looks like. I like things looking nice,” Miller said.

“It’s a blessing and a curse. It can be exhausting when nothing’s ever good enough, but it’s my driving force.”

That drive for perfection could mark an incredible personal achievement in Rio for Miller who finished 42nd on the floor and 29th on the uneven bars as part of the Australian team which finished 10th at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

“I didn’t even know my placings from London,” Miller revealed.

“It wasn’t my best competition.

“This time, having made the finals in the floor (and just outside of that in bars), I would love to make the finals here which means a top eight finish.

“But regardless of where I finish, I just want to execute my routines as best I can.

“If I do that on the floor and everything counts for my start score of 6.4 that should be one of the top eight scores.”

Rowing pictogram

Miller said being in Rio as a sole competitor and not as part of a team for the first time since 2009 had been “different” but she had adapted with the mentally and physically draining experience of competing against her teammates to qualify now behind her.

“From the time we knew it was only me, that is how we trained leading up to this moment,” she said.

“It was actually quite nice in podium training with the others in my group who are all here on their own too.

“It’s important to be a good sport. I was cheering the others on and they were doing the same to me. It’s cool to be part of that.”

Meanwhile, Australia’s other two gymnasts, trampolinist Blake Gaudry and rhythmic gymnast Danielle Prince, will continue to train in preparation for their competition on August 13 and 19 respectively.

Tracie Edmondson

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