THREE-TIMES Paralympic gold medallist Stephen Miller is hoping to erase the heartache of Beijing at the London Paralympic Games that begin next week.

The 32 year-old from Cramlington had previously won gold in Atlanta, Sydney and Athens, but was beaten by Tunisia's Mourad Idoudi in China four years ago.

He still believes that Idoudi, who also broke the 11-year-old world record set by Miller, should not have been competing in the F32/51 club throw.

Miller, who was this week named as the men's captain of the Great Britain Paralympics athletics squad, said: "A couple of years ago he got re-classified.  It's a bit complicated but basically when he won the gold in Beijing, I wanted to protest because he was in the wrong class.

"At the World Championships last year he got re-classified to a higher class, the next one up from me.  This time he's not going to be in my competition."

However, despite Idoudi's reclassification, Miller knows that a fourth gold medal is far from certain. A restructuring of the competition means that he will be up against a number of other challengers who have previously competed in different classifications.

He said: "The guy who won the World Championships is from Algeria and he broke the world record in New Zealand last year, so he's probably going to be the favourite.  Again though, it's quite complicated because my event is combined with another classification.

"My disability, cerebral palsy, is combined with paraplegics, who are people paralysed from the neck down.  There's a couple of guys in that classification, one of them is the world record holder from the Czech Republic.

"I've been competing against him for years and years and it's always pretty close between us."

As well as facing strong competition, Miller is also troubled by a hip problem. At some stage, he will require an operation, but he explained: "At the back of my mind I really wanted to compete in London.

"I need a new hip and I've put that off until after the games. I could have had the operation two years ago, but the doctor couldn't guarantee I'd be able to come back. I really wanted to compete in London so I decided not to have it.

"Last year was touch and go whether I'd be in the team but I'm really quite proud that I've made it and on the day anything can happen. I'm really positive about what I can do."

Although the road to recovery following the operation is a long one, Miller believes that at 32 he can keep going and will compete at Rio de Janeiro in 2016 as long as he's given the green light.

He added: "I'm not looking too far ahead, and all I'm going to do after London is get the new hip. Then it's six months of rehab so I'll do that and see how I am and what the doctor says.

"If he says I can still compete and train then I'll keep going, but I've got to think about my long-term health and well-being. That's more important than sport.

"This is my fifth Paralympics. I was only 16 when I competed in Atlanta and I'm still fairly young for being a thrower."

The opportunity to compete in a Paralympic Games on home turf is also something that Miller is relishing. If the noise made by the crowd encouraging Olympic champions such as Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis to success can be replicated, then he believes it will work to his advantage. 

He said: "It will be great to compete in a full stadium in London when everyone is cheering for you. I've been waiting ever since London got the Games.

"There's about 200 people coming down from Newcastle. There's going to be a great atmosphere in the stadium on the day I compete."

Even those who are unable to make the Games have wished Miller well. He said: "I've had loads of good luck messages from everyone up in the North-East and I know everyone is supporting me and looking out for the competition.

"I know loads of people can't get tickets but it'll hopefully be on Channel Four so everyone will be able to watch on TV.

"This year seems to have flown by. It's something I've been looking forward to and when it comes it'll be pretty surreal. I just want to go and enjoy my experience."