Brighton student becomes British athletics champion
University of Brighton third year Sport and Exercise Science BSc(Hons) student George Mills claimed the 1500m title at the British Athletics Indoor Championships in Glasgow on Sunday (23 February).
Mills, 20, who is from Leeds but represents local club Brighton Phoenix, clocked a time of 3:50:69 to take the British title at the Emirates Arena, a week after he set a new personal best of 3:39:25 at the same venue at the Indoor Grand Prix – one of the most prestigious indoor athletics meetings in the world. The latter time puts him third in the current 1500m British rankings.
Speaking about his achievement, Mills said: “I’m delighted to have won the British title in Glasgow, it was a target for me to perform well there from the beginning of the indoor season. As far as I’m concerned, there is a lot more hard work to be done and a long way to go. I’m looking forward to continuing to learn and gain as much experience as possible.”
Mills is no stranger to sporting success with his dad being former England, Leeds and Manchester City footballer Danny Mills. He also trains with some of Britain’s top track athletes under coach Jon Bigg, counting British Olympians Charlie Grice and Elliot Giles, as well as Commonwealth silver medallist Kyle Langford among his training partners.
Neil Maxwell, Reader of Environmental Physiology at the university, said: “The improvements George is seeing are classic responses to altitude training, where there were likely haematological as well as respiratory adaptations that he has brought back down onto the track that helped his 1500 m time.
“I am supervising George while he completes his dissertation on the topic of ‘The Effects on Passive Heat Maintenance on a 1000m Time Trial and the Determinants of Endurance Running Performance’, so he is really focusing his studies to benefit his performance as well as others.”
On his experience at the university, Mills said: “The university has been great in allowing me to go on a training camp to South Africa in November and December, which really helped. Being able to use the facilities and learn more about the science behind my sport has been fantastic”.
Mills is already back in training and is due to conclude his university undergraduate degree this summer. With the Tokyo Olympics around the corner, he is turning his attention to the outdoor season: “I’m looking to continue to improve by staying healthy and working as hard as I possibly can. I just want to get better and we’ll see what happens next.”