Michael McKillop: Irish athlete wins sixth IPC World title

By Elizabeth HudsonBBC Sport in Doha
Michael McKillop
Michael McKillop won the 800m T38 earlier in the competition
IPC Athletics World Championships
Venue: Qatar Sports Club, Suhaim Bin Hamad Stadium, Doha Dates: 22-31 October
Coverage: Daily reports on the BBC Sport website, plus coverage of key races on BBC Radio 5 live and BBC World Service

Irish Paralympic star Michael McKillop clinched his sixth IPC Athletics World Championship gold medal after defending his T37 1500m title in Doha.

The 25-year-old from Glengormley, on the outskirts of Belfast, has a mild form of cerebral palsy.

The T38 800m champion stayed on the shoulder of Australia's Brad Scott before making a move with 600m to go.

"That race was controlled and timed to perfection," the three-time Paralympic champion told BBC Sport.

"After the 800m I spoke to my dad and coach Paddy to see what way I would race it because I knew I wasn't fit enough to go from the gun like I usually do, or even at 800m to go.

"So we thought we would try to break Brad's spirits a bit by giving him a bit of confidence and then crash it down again.

"When he was in front he was in control, but as soon as I passed him he couldn't budge and then when I put my foot down I got away from him and that was the plan. That is two finals and two perfect performances.

"Previously I had gone into big races over-thinking things but at these championships, although I was struggling mentally in the 800m, in this race I had beaten everyone in the field, so I knew I could do it. It is nice to go out and perform and show the crowd I am comfortable and enjoying myself."

McKillop's winning time was four minutes 16.20 seconds - well outside his world record of 3:59.54 - but the medals come at the end of what has been an injury-hit season and he will be hoping for a smoother build-up to next year's Rio Paralympics.

"Going into 2016, it is going to be an exciting time and I want to show I am still on top," he added. "Crowds here have been small but hopefully when it comes to Rio, hopefully there will be a carnival atmosphere around it. Brazil have got the buzz off London and hopefully we can go there and get the respect we deserve as elite athletes."

The only Briton in a final on Friday was high jumper Jonathan Broom-Edwards, who ended with silver in the T44 event behind Poland's world and Paralympic champion Maciej Lepiato.

Both men cleared 2.05m and then passed on 2.08 but Broom-Edwards, 27, missed all three attempts at 2.11 while Lepiato cleared it and then set a new world record of 2.18.

"It just didn't happen today and I'm a little disappointed considering the shape I'm in and all the hard work that's gone into the build-up into this competition," Broom-Edwards said afterwards.

"My warm-up was great - I was relaxed and not being able to pass at 2.11m messed me up a little bit, but there's no real excuses.

"I got too tense and that's something I need to work on. It doesn't justify how I jumped today, but I know what I need to do. I've just got to relax at the higher bars and do what I do in training and the warm-up."

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