Wednesday 28 September 2016

McKillop overcomes vitamin deficiency to grab gold again

Published 12/09/2016 | 02:30

Michael McKillop with his gold medal in Rio. Photo by Paul Mohan/Sportsfile
Michael McKillop with his gold medal in Rio. Photo by Paul Mohan/Sportsfile

Michael McKillop battled 29C heat to achieve his fourth Paralympic career gold with victory in the T37 1,500-metres final.

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But a vitamin deficiency nearly robbed him of his chance for glory in Rio, he revealed.

The Belfast native took the lead with 600 metres to go, with Canada's Liam Stanley the only competitor to stay with the Irishman.

It was Ireland's third medal of the Paralympic Games after Derry's Jason Smyth won gold in the T13 100 metres final on Friday and Galway track cyclist Eoghan Clifford secured bronze in the C3 Individual Pursuit.

But McKillop revealed that a vitamin deficiency almost ended his hopes.

"Five weeks ago, I ran 4:30 in an able-bodied race and I hadn't run that slowly since I was 15 years of age," McKillop told Channel 4.

"It was because I was low in Vitamin B12. I couldn't get out of bed some days. It was tough to get here but once again my coach, my dad (Paddy) and my fiancée worked very hard to get me here."

Irish Independent

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