Words by Colette Carr
Ireland’s medal hopes for August’s European Championships took a hammer blow as Michael McKillop announced he has been sidelined due to persistent injury.
McKillop, who told his Twitter followers he is working towards a return at next year’s World Championships, was set to defend his T37 800m and T38 1500m gold medals. But the Ballymena man who competes for the North Belfast Harriers has dealt with ongoing injuries since London 2012.
Following a double gold in last year’s World Championships in the Olympic Stadium that took his Worlds tally to six, and an impressive four Paralympic golds, McKillop and fellow Irishman Jason Smyth have established themselves as Ireland’s ‘ones to beat’ on the track.
In an astonishing stat, the 28-year-old’s last defeat in a major stretches all the way back to 2006. In response to the news, Paralympics Ireland said, “really disappointing news for one of our greatest athletes. You will be back stronger and faster than ever!”