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European Athletics Championships 2024: George Mills targets gold

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One way Mills eases any sense of isolation and earns more admirers is through his popular YouTube channel, The 5k Guys, alongside team-mate Tom Elmer.

Their videos go behind the scenes and show the grit and competitiveness which was partly instilled in Mills by his father, former England international footballer Danny Mills.

“It means a lot because we have a responsibility to really push the sport and try to publicise it,” said Mills, who sees the former Manchester City, Leeds United, Charlton Athletic and Norwich City full-back as a role model.

“We document our journey leading up to Paris with the hopes of qualifying. Giving those insights helps people to follow your journey and support you, because that’s probably what we’re missing in the sport right now.

“Discipline, focus and the sporting ground is normal to me because I saw it growing up. I think normal life is like fully committing yourself and throwing yourself into the sport.”

Twenty-two years ago, Mills senior was preparing for a 2002 Fifa World Cup campaign in which he would play every minute for the Three Lions.

Mills, whose younger brother, Stanley is a midfield prospect for Everton, could have an equally action-packed time in Paris, where he aims to qualify for the 5,000m and 1,500m competitions.

“The Olympics are every four years, so you want to spend as much time there racing as possible,” he reasoned.

“I’m far from a master in either [discipline]. I have a very good coach and training programme, and I believe we train in the best way possible to give myself the best chance across both.

“I feel like I’ve got the tools to compete with the best guys out there.”

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