Michael McKillop gets the opportunity tonight to complete a golden middle distance double when he competes in the T37 1500m in the Olympic Stadium.
It would also heap all the pressure back on his room mate Jason Smyth.
Four years ago in Beijing the Newtownabbey athlete was denied the chance of a second Paralympic title as the longer event wasn’t in the programme while Smyth completed the sprint double.
Now McKillop has the opportunity to create his own little bit of history with Smyth’s defence of his 200m crown not until Friday.
“It would be lovely to win the double. Jason did the sprint double in Beijing and I could only win one gold there and if he can go on and win the 200m then we’ll have the double-double,” said McKillop after he romped to victory in the T37 800m on Saturday night.
Less than two hours after Smyth won the T13 100m it was his turn to cruise to victory on a Super Saturday for Northern Ireland sport and, just like Smyth, he broke his own world record.
“There was no way I was going back to the room without a gold medal around my neck,” he said afterwards.
McKillop’s time of 1:57.22 took 1.6 seconds off his previous mark in front of 80,000 spectators, including a sizable Irish contingent, who roared him all the way to the line and, despite the fact he was following Smyth, he noted after the race: “Everyone likes the dessert more than the main course or a starter. Jason was the main course but you always want to leave room for a dessert because that’s special.”
He added: “If you don’t enjoy that you’ll never enjoy anything in your life. It was an honour to go out there and run in front of my mum for the first time at a major championship and that was something special and to have my sisters and my girlfriend here was really nice.”
The 22 year-old, who has a mild form of cerebral palsy is coached by his father Paddy who was there during his lap of honour to greet him.
“He said to me ‘never in doubt’. He knew I was the best athlete, I knew I was the best athlete going into the race but then it’s all about executing it and to be able to execute it in such a great way and come across the line first is just perfect. To break the world record was even better.”
Australian Brad Scott took the pace out over the first 350m metres but then McKillop passed him by and increased his lead, leaving the result never in doubt.
“I’d set it up like that. I gave Brad Scott a little brown envelope before the race,” joked McKillop.
“He took me out at a wonderful, wonderful pace. I knew exactly what I had to do and at 420 out I just went for it and nailed it and put the hammer down.
“With 200m to go I looked at the big screen and saw I had a big enough gap, but I hit it again coming down the home straight just to make sure.”
As for the time, he says he wasn’t thinking about it. The old record was 1:58.90.
“Not at all, I really wasn’t. I slowed down slightly coming up to the line. Itsy bitsy bits is what you want to take off it so you can leave it until the next time, so hopefully in Rio I can go out there and beat it again.”
McKillop had time to enjoy a sandwich before getting to the stadium in time to see Smyth.
“Jason is the most relaxed, horizontal guy you’ll ever meet so to have him in the room is just brilliant because he kept me calm.”
Same again today would do just fine.