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McKillop victorious at Anniversary Games

Michael McKillop celebrates as he crosses the line first in the Men’s T36/37 800m during day three of the Sainsbury's Anniversary Games.
Michael McKillop celebrates as he crosses the line first in the
Men’s T36/37 800m during the Anniversary Games.

THREE-time Paralympic champion Michael McKillop stormed to victory in the T36/37 800m race at the Anniversary Games – IAAF Diamond League 2013 – in London on Sunday.

The Glengormley athlete clocked a time of 1:58.67 at the stadium where he won his two gold medals in the 800m and 1,500m last summer.

This feat completed a fantastic week for McKillop, in which he secured gold in both the 800m and 1,500m events at the IPC World Championships in Lyon.

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James Nolan, the Head of Irish Paralympic Athletics, admitted after Lyon that he was running out of superlatives to describe McKillop’s commanding performance.

“None of his competitors could live with the injection of pace. Michael was untroubled and dominant.”

Speaking after Sunday’s win at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, McKillop said: “Today’s been unbelievable, life doesn’t get much better when I have the chance to run in this stadium again.

“This is where I found myself and discovered myself as an athlete, it pushed on to Lyon and it’s just incredible to be back here.

“Hopefully in 2017 I’ll be back here for the World Championships.”

Young Dubliner Heather Jameson who competed as a 15 year old in London 2012 finished fifth in the women’s T37 100m event with a time of 15.17.

Laura Crowe did not finish the  women's 800m.
Laura Crowe competing for the women’s 800m.

The women’s F31/32/51 club throw awarded third place to Catherine O’Neill and she finished with 13.36m obtaining 898 points.

Further Irish competition came from Donegal’s Mark English who finished sixth in the men’s 800m event on day one of the Anniversary Games last Friday.

He clocked a personal best time of 1:44.84 in the race, a significant achievement as it means he qualifies for the upcoming World Championships in Moscow.

English’s time marked the joint-second fastest Irish 800m time ever; it lies just behind David Matthews’ time of 1:44.82 set in Rieti, Italy, on 5 September 1995.

Prior to this race his compatriot Rose-Anne Galligan finished sixth in the women’s 800m clocking not only a personal best time of 2:00.58, but also a national record breaking the time of 2:00.69 set in 1994 by Sonia O’Sullivan.

Laura Crowe was unable to complete the same race; however, the Kerry woman was running as Galligan’s pace maker.

One star athlete that was missing from the line-up in London over the weekend was Derry’s Jason Smyth, the fastest Paralympian of all time.

After winning two golds in Lyon last week in the T13 100m and 200m events, Smyth was frustrated that he was not invited to participate in the Anniversary Games.

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Nemesha Balasundaram
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Nemesha Balasundaram is a Reporter with The Irish Post. Follow her on Twitter @nemeshaB

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