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Paralympics 2012: Golden boy McKillop triumphs in 1500m

The Antrim man won Ireland’s eighth medal of the competition in London today.

Ireland's Michael McKillop celebrates winning Gold in the Mens 1500m - T37 at the Olympic Stadium.
Ireland's Michael McKillop celebrates winning Gold in the Mens 1500m - T37 at the Olympic Stadium.

Updated at 21.25

MICHAEL MCKILLOP HAS won his second gold medal, after producing a consummate performance at the Paralympics in London this evening.

The athlete triumphed in the 1500m T37 final, with a time of 4:08.11.

He finished ahead of Australia’s Brad Scott (4:14.47) and Mohamed Charmi of Tunisia (4:14.90), who took silver and bronze respectively.

Speaking following his success, McKillop said: “It was great to do a double here in London. When I heard that the 1500m would be on the programme here, I was thrilled as I didn’t have this opportunity in Beijing. It means so much to be able to do this.”

He explained how his pre-race strategy had worked perfectly.

“I had agreed with my coach that I would work steadily until 800m and increase the pace gradually to see who would come with me. Only the Australian did so I increased the pace again. The plan worked.”

Meanwhile, in a closely guarded secret, McKillop was presented with his 1500m Gold medal by his mother Catherine, who acted as ambassador from official Games sponsors P&G

The athlete had previously broken the world record in the 800m (T37) on Saturday, and also won gold in the T37 800m in Beijing at the 2008 Paralympics.

The Antrim man’s success means Ireland have now won five golds and eight medals in total at this year’s Paralympics.

Elsewhere at the Paralympics today, the Irish sailing team of Conor Twomey, Anthony Hegarty and Ian Costelloe finished Race 5 in 10th place, with the Dutch crew of Udo Hessels, Marcel van de Veen and Mischa Rossen taking top spot.

They are now 11th overall, with the Dutch leading ahead of the Australian and USA crews in joint second.

In addition, John McCarthy finished seventh in the 100m T51 final earlier this evening.

Read: So close! Byrne ‘delighted’ despite medal heartbreak>

Read: Top bracket: Smyth happy to be among sprinting elite>

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Paul Fennessy

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