McKillop has his sights on the big prize at the European Paralympics Championships

Updated: Thursday, 14 Aug 2014 11:07 | Comments

Michael McKillop is part of an Irish team heading to the south of Wales
Michael McKillop is part of an Irish team heading to the south of Wales

Despite carrying an injury, gold is still the goal for Michael McKillop at the European Paralympics Championships in Swansea next week.

The double Paralympic and World Champion is recovering from a foot injury sustained at the IPC World Championships last year but still has his sights set on top spot in Wales.

The Antrim runner, who will compete in the T37 800m 1500m, told RTÉ Sport: “Obviously, with being injured I wouldn’t say I’m 100 per cent fit going into Swansea. I just hope to go out there and do my best and most importantly win the medals.

"The most important thing is about winning two gold medals" - Michael McKillop

“That’s the first thing going into championships, it’s not about times. If the times come then that’s a bonus but the most important thing is about winning two gold medals.”

McKillop is part of an eight-strong Ireland team for the event, which takes place from 19-23 of August.

He is joined by sprinter Jason Smyth and fellow London Paralympic medallist throwers Orla Barry, the reigning champion, and Catherine O’Neill. 

Also competing is 100m and 400m wheelchair racer John McCarthy, long jumper and sprinter Heather Jameson, shot put and javelin thrower Lorraine Regan, and Andrew Flynn who races in the 5000m

McCarthy said that he is aware that he has a big challenge ahead of him.

“Training has been going well for the last few weeks,” he said.

“I know it’s going to be tough over there because the top five or six in the world are European so it’s going to be as tough as the Paralympics for me.”

James Nolan, head of Paralympics Athletics, added: “To even make this team the athletes know that they are high quality, high calibre athletes.

“So they are all very, very confident going into this. A lot of them have done personal best performances this season so they are in shape and ready for the championship.”

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