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#chasingmedals: Hannah Miley's taking a break from Twitter

The vortex of Twitter can suck even the most canny sportsperson into oblivion.

An indiscrete post here, a dodgy hashtag there. And that's before you even consider the perils of an inadvertent Instagram. An expert in the art of self-protection, Hannah Miley has already formulated a status update for the eve of the Commonwealth Games: 'Busy chasing medals, be back soon'.

"It's just because you can read loads of positive good luck comments," the swimmer reveals. "But it just takes one person to write something that's maybe not so great, and that probably sits on your shoulders more than the positive words. For me, it's about protecting my psychology and keeping myself away from an unnecessary distraction. I just work better being cut off like that."

Whether moving offline or keeping the TV unplugged, isolation is a formula advanced by Misha Botting, the mind doctor at the Institute of Sport, and one which Miley was keen to pass on yesterday as she addressed the 19 prospects granted support from the Bank of Scotland's Local Heroes scheme. Focus is everything, she underlined. Lose it, lose out.

Keeping the idle chatter at bay will be a necessity come July when Miley, the defending 400m individual medley champion, is among the prime contenders to generate Scotland's maiden medal of Glasgow 2014, along with her contemporary in the pool, Michael Jamieson.

"Hopefully myself and MJ will be able to put Scotland into a good start and inspire the team to be in high morale from the start," she declares. "That is a little bit of pressure, but it can't be as much as I had at the Olympics. That was extreme, especially when I was told, 'If Mark Cavendish doesn't get a medal, we're all going to be looking at you'.

"And I didn't want to know. No offence to him, I didn't want to know whether he'd got a medal or not, because I didn't want to add that extra pressure on myself. If he got a medal then great, then when he didn't get a medal I think I'd be like, 'Oh, pants'."

Miley - who confesses to using music to tune out the world - remained oblivious until she emerged, equally empty-handed, from the pool. Having shaken off that disappointment, she is in no mood for zero gains at the forthcoming Games.

Following a brief break, it will soon be time to head inside the bubble and embrace the solitude. The advance hype will be for others to generate. Miley will let performances generate their own Twitter hubris.

"We've just got to go in and fight, get the best position we can, and hopefully come away with as many medals as we can," she vows.

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