McKillop clinches Paralympic gold

Published Saturday, 01 September 2012
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Co Antrim man Michael McKillop has broken his own world record in the Men's 800m final to claim gold at the Paralympic Games in London.

McKillop clinches Paralympic gold
Michael McKillop celebrates as he crosses the line to win gold (© Getty)

McKillop, who is from Newtownabbey, suffers from cerebral palsy and is one of Ireland's most successful Paralympic athletes.

He won the 800m title in Beijing and was the double world champion and world record holder over 800m and 1500m coming into the London 2012 Games.

On Saturday he kissed the track after crossing the line with a time of 1:57.22. He also celebrated with a "Mobot" - Mo Farah's now famous hands-to-head 'M' gesture.

McKillop said: "It's an honour to come out again and race for my country.

"But to run in front of my mum for the first time in a major championships is something special and my friends and girlfriend is really nice."

If you don't enjoy that then you will never enjoy anything in your life.

Michael McKillop

"I knew exactly what I had to do. I was 420 out and I just went at it, just nailed it, put the hammer down with 200 to go, I looked up at the big screen, had enough of a gap so I hit it again coming down home straight just to be sure," he said.

"I wanted to enjoy this as you don't often get a chance to run at a major championships like this."

McKillop's victory came after Derry sprinter Jason Smyth retained his 100m title during a golden weekend for Northern Irish Paralympians.

On Friday Seaford teenager Bethany Firth triumphed in the S14 100m backstroke final.

Smyth, Firth and McKillop - along with Wexford swimmer Darragh McDonald - have so far taken four gold medals for Team Ireland.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Ryan in Belfast wrote (880 days ago):
Well done Michael, 4 Gold medals so far for team Ireland!
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