Double gold for middle distance great McKillop

Michael McKillop on his way to winning the men's 800m T37 final in a new world record time of 1:57.17 at the IPC Athletics World Championships.    Picture: John Paul Thomas/Sportfile
Michael McKillop on his way to winning the men's 800m T37 final in a new world record time of 1:57.17 at the IPC Athletics World Championships. Picture: John Paul Thomas/Sportfile
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Glengormley’s Michael McKillop went to Lyon last week a double world champion and today the 23-year-old ensured he will be back home with both intact.

He claimed his second gold medal at the IPC World Championships when he eased to victory in the T38 1500 metres final. On Sunday Michael, who was diagnosed with a mild form of cerebral palsy when he was two, had secured the first leg of the middle distance double, winning the T37 800m final and breaking his own world record in the process.

To add to the gold-medal winning Paralympian’s ever more impressive list of honours, he set a new championship record of 4 minutes 10.17 seconds in winning the 1500m, more than two seconds ahead of Tunisia’s Abbes Saidi, with Australia’s Deon Kenzie third.

Michael said after the final: “I was plodding along early on and the plan was to go at about the halfway mark.

“Thankfully, I got away early with the spurt I put in. I was able to relax after that and then I kicked on again.

“I’m very happy because I set out to win the double.

“Running personal best in able-bodied competition helps.”

Next on Michael’s scheduleMcKillop is the IPC European Championships in Swansea next year and the 2016 Rio Olympics.

He said: “It has been a good year for me and I can now refresh myself and come back for the Europeans in Swansea in 2014 and then the big one in Rio.”