PARALYMPICS: Golden boy McKillop out to add to medal haul in Rio

Michael McKillop celebrates winning gold
 in London, four years ago.

Michael McKillop celebrates winning gold in London, four years ago.

Paralympic star Michael McKillop is looking forward to defending his T37 1500m title in Rio next month.

The Glengormley man, who is the reigning world champion in the both the 800m and 1500m, has been training hard over the past six weeks in preparation for what will be his third Paralympic Games.

However, the International Paralympic Committee’s programme changes mean he will be restricted to the 1500m in Rio, something the 26-year-old admitted he was disappointed about.

“It is frustrating that I will not get the chance to run both events this time around,” he said. “But at least it will allow me to focus all my energies on the 1500m. The hard work is done and the next few weeks will be all about fine tuning.”

A triple Paralympic gold medallist, who suffers from a mild form of cerebral palsy, told the Times he felt confident he could retain his 1500m title in Rio.

“Having won double gold at the world championships last year, I am in a good mindset heading into Rio and will have a mental advantage over the other competitors,” he said.

“This will be my third Games and every one is different. I expect it will be a real carnival atmosphere and I am excited to see what Rio has to offer.”