Michael McKillop wins 1500m GOLD at IPC Paralympic Athletics World Championships

Seventh world championship gold for perennial champion McKillop

Ireland’s Michael McKillop has successfully defended his 1500m title at the 2015 IPC Paralympic Athletics World Championships in Doha this evening in superb style, claiming the gold medal in a time of 4:16.21. Remarkably this is McKillop’s seventh world championship gold medal; his second of the week after his 800m win last Saturday. In all this brings to twelve the number of major championship medals the Antrim athlete has won.

In a hot (33 degrees Celsius) and humid evening at the Qatar Sports Club, the reigning Paralympic champion and world record holder at this distance showed his dominance of the event making his decisive break with over 500m to go. After a slow start McKillop turned on the speed before they hit the bell and pushed clear of long time challenger Brad Scott to finish almost five seconds ahead of the Australian on the line. Majid Djemai of Algeria took bronze in 4:29.94.

Speaking afterwards a proud McKillop, who is coached by his dad Paddy said;

“It’s been a really long hard year, so to leave the Middle East with two gold medals is just amazing. It was a tough race but when you have the determination to conquer you can do anything.”

Irish team manager James Nolan added:

“I had full confidence in Michael over 1500m. Although he has had a year plagued with injury and hasn’t been able to do as much training as he would have liked, he is a thoroughbred and the perfect build for the 1500m upwards. There was no way anyone in that field was going to trouble Michael.”

Wheelchair racer John McCarthy was on the track shortly after team mate McKillop in the semi-finals of the T51 400m. The Cork native finished second in a time of 1:36.03 to advance to the final seventh fastest, on the concluding day of competition tomorrow.

Speaking about John’s race Nolan said;

“John did very well in his 400m.He had the stagger eaten up on the Japanese athlete after just 100m. He also held his form when others faltered in the final 100m and passed the athlete from Portugal to secure automatic qualification. The final will be very tough but if John gets out hard over the first 200m he has the endurance work done to close well like he did today.”

The Irish team is proudly sponsored by Allianz, an official sponsor of Paralympics Ireland.