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National News

Miller keen for bigger taste of the Games

Larrissa Miller has had a go at soaking up the Olympic experience.

Been there, done that. This time around she wants to prove she belongs.

As Australia's sole artistic gymnastics competitor at the Rio Games, all hope of ending the nation's search for a first Olympic medal in the sport rests with the Melbourne-based 23-year-old.

It's a challenge she's keen to embrace, having already had a taste of the Games in London.

"The first Olympic Games, it was more about the experience, but now it's about being able to perform better," Miller said.

"I feel like this time I'm more goal-focused ... knowing exactly what I want to achieve."

For national coach Peggy Liddick, that goal would be reaching a final in either of her two specialist apparatus - the uneven bars and the floor.

"That would be huge. Absolutely, that is the goal," Liddick said.

"It will be tough on bars, but she's so clean - her execution will make up for her difficulty deficit, and with floor, she's right in there with the top eight.

"It's just a matter of how many landings she sticks, how they interpret the artistry, it's just so subjective."

The Rio Games represents somewhat of a fork in the road moment for Australian gymnastics.

For the first time since Australia started competing in gymnastics at the Olympics in 1956, the nation won't have a male competitor in the artistic gymnastics.

It is also the first time since the 1988 Games in Seoul that Australia won't be represented in the women's teams event, having finished one spot out of the cut-off at the Rio test event in April.

Like Miller, Blake Gaudry will compete in his second straight Games in the men's trampoline, while Brisbane's 24-year-old Danielle Prince will take part in her first Games in the rhythmic gymnastics, having secured a quota spot as Oceania's highest-ranked competitor at last year's world championships.

HISTORY OF GYMNASTICS AT THE OLYMPICS:

* Gymnastics appeared at the inaugural Athens 1896 Games, with Australia first taking part in the event at the 1956 Games in Melbourne

* The sport has evolved over time, with the men's individual apparatus and team competitions beginning in 1924

* Women first competed in gymnastics at the 1928 Olympics

* Rhythmic gymnastics made its debut at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles, while trampoline was introduced in Sydney in 2000, where Ji Wallace claimed silver, which remains Australia's only Olympic medal in the sport

* The now-dissolved Soviet Union has won the most Olympic medals in the sport with 182, well ahead of the USA with 102.

© AAP 2016

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