Michael McKillop routs 1500m field in London

Updated: Tuesday, 04 Sep 2012 00:29 | Comments

Michael McKillop was an ultra-impressive winner at the Olympic Stadium
Michael McKillop was an ultra-impressive winner at the Olympic Stadium

Michael McKillop won Ireland’s fifth gold medal of the London 2012 Paralympics as he established himself as the world's greatest Paralympic middle-distance runner in the Olympic Stadium.

The 22-year-old, who has cerebral palsy, obliterated the opposition to claim the most convincing of victories in the T37 1500 metres.

He had a season's best coming into the race more than 20 seconds faster than the next quickest in the field and it proved as comprehensive on the track as it looked on paper.

Content to sit behind Australia's Brad Scott early on, he passed him before stretching clear from way out, already acknowledging the applause of the crowd as he came off the final bend.

His times of four minutes 08.11 seconds was a new Paralympic record and more than six seconds ahead of Scott. Tunisia’s Mohamed Charmi finished in third place.

McKillop's success came two days after he landed 800m gold in equally emphatic fashion.

“It was great to do a double here in London,” beamed McKillop.

“When I heard that the 1500m would be on the programme here, I was thrilled as I didn’t have this opportunity in Beijing. It means so much to be able to do this.

“I had agreed with my coach that I would work steadily until 800m and increase the pace gradually to see who would come with me. Only the Australian did so I increased the pace again. The plan worked.”

In a closely guarded secret, Michael was presented with his 1500m gold medal by his mother Catherine, who acted as ambassador from official Games sponsors P&G.

Earlier in the evening, Ireland’s John McCarthy finished seventh in the final of the T51 100 metres at the Olympic Stadium.

Finland’s Toni Piispanen landed the gold medal in 21.72.

User contributions and/or comments do not, unless specifically stated, represent the views of RTÉ.ie or RTÉ.
Click here for Terms of use