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Dublin: 13 °C Monday 10 August, 2020

Paralympic changes are bad news for Smyth and McKillop

The double champions in London will be unable to defend their 200 and 800 metre titles respectively.

Image: ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

IRELAND’S PARALYMPIC CHAMPION Michael McKillop has been denied the chance of a T37 800 metre ‘three-peat’ after the IPC drew up its list of medal events for Rio 2016 today.

McKillop’s close friend and regular room-mate Jason Smyth has also had his preferred events halved as the T13 200 metre sprint is now off the agenda.

McKillop, who won 800 metre gold in 2008 and 2012 and also was victorious over 1500 metres, told the BBC today:

“I’m really sad and very disappointed as I wanted to go to Rio and defend both my titles. It doesn’t make sense to me.”

Like McKillop, Derry’s Jason Smyth holds the world record in both his chosen distances and is likely to be hugely disappointed by the changes to the schedule.

The move has come as the IPC have increased the number of women’s track and field events for Rio 2016 from 67 to 82. And although the overall number of events has grown from 170 to 177, the IPC evidently had to find room in the schedule by cutting some events. A move which could never be a popular decision.

McKillop and Smyth will both hope to appear at the games to defend their 1500 and 100 metre crowns respectively.

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About the author:

Sean Farrell

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