Belfast Telegraph

Michael McKillop going for double golden glory at IPC European Championships

By Frank Brownlow

Michael McKillop would love to emulate great pal Jason Smyth when he goes for his second gold medal in today's 1500m at the IPC European Championships in Swansea.

McKillop won the 800m on Wednesday, while fellow Ulsterman Smyth – who is visually impaired – already has 100m and 200m golds in the bag.

McKillop, who has spent a large part of this season out with injury, said: "I can just go out and enjoy the 1500m rather than worry about what I've got to do.

"If I win, I win – if I don't it doesn't matter so much. The 800m was the main goal because it was up first and I wanted to get a medal – now I just want to enjoy the 1500m," said the Glengormley middle distance ace who has three Paralympic gold medals plus five world titles to his name.

McKillop (24), who suffers from cerebral palsy, has been greatly assisted by staff at the Sports Institute at Jordanstown on his long road back from injury.

A trapped nerve in his foot has plagued McKillop since last year's World Championships in Lyon.

Meanwhile, double Olympic champion Mo Farah has one eye on next year's Beijing World Championships and the other on Rio 2016 as he looks to put his "toughest year" behind him.

Farah won double gold in the 5,000 and 10,000 metres at the recent European Championships in Zurich to set himself up for a brighter 2015 centred around the Worlds in Beijing.

"It's been the toughest year of my career for sure," he said ahead of tomorrow's Sainsbury's Birmingham Grand Prix. "I'm already looking ahead to Beijing."

After the Worlds, Farah is desperate to match his achievements of 2012 at the Rio Olympics.

"Rio is the most important thing," he said.

"If you ask any athlete 'Olympics or Worlds?' anybody would say Olympics. That's the big one.

"But you still have to deliver at the World Championships too."

 

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