Michael McKillop takes gold in 800m at IPC European Championships

Updated: Thursday, 21 Aug 2014 08:14 | Comments

Champion Michael McKillop led from the gun in the T38 800m final
Champion Michael McKillop led from the gun in the T38 800m final

Ireland’s Michael McKillop has won gold in the T38 800m at the IPC Athletics European Championships in Swansea.

The reigning double Paralympic champion and world record holder clocked one minute 58.16 seconds as he outclassed his rivals.

Starting in lane seven, McKillop led from the gun, but Russia's Chermen Kobesov was always in close pursuit. 

The Antrim man made a decisive move at the bell and sauntered to a scarcely believable eight-second victory. 

Kobesov clung on to second, while Ukraine’s Valentyn Miedviediev took bronze.

Speaking after the win a delighted McKillop said: “I won’t lie, that was tough, but I’m delighted to win the medal. 

"The Russian is a really strong 400m runner, and I knew he’d run 51 seconds over that distance so it was really important for me to take it out hard or he would have outkicked me and that’s what I did.

“I pushed on for 200m after the bell and then just got through it from there.”

McKillop, who is coached by his father Paddy, has only recently recovered from a lengthy period of rehabilitation following a serious foot injury.

“This is only my first 800m race of the season," McKillop added.

"It’s tough at the best of times facing into your first 800m of the season, but for it to be a championship final and only on the back of two 1500m races all season makes the win all the more satisfying.”

Meanwhile, after his superb showing in the T51 400m final yesterday, wheelchair racer John McCarthy finished fifth in the final of the T51 100m in 26.25.  


Finland's Toni Piispanen followed up his win in last night's 400m with victory in 23.56.

Andrew Flynn, meanwhile, finished seventh in the T13 5000m final with a personal best time of 16:47.69.

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