Emotions Run High for Michael McKillop in Tokyo
07 September 2021
Four-time Paralympic gold medallist, Michael McKillop (North Belfast Harriers) ran in an emotionally charged race on Saturday in the Men’s T38 1500m at the Tokyo Paralympic Games.
The T37 athlete finished in 8th place in 4:27.69 resulting in his competitors from the T37 and T38 classes supporting and consoling him at the finish line, showing their clear respect for him, as France’s Louis Radius held his hand high.
The 31-year-old triumphed in the T37 800m in Beijing, completing an 800m and 1500m double in London 2012, before securing his fourth gold medal in Rio, but it was not to be in Tokyo 2020.
Post-race, Michael tweeted:
“It just wasn’t meant to be. Gutted that I couldn’t win a medal on Saturday night. I just want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for the support & lovely messages. It has been truly amazing representing my country & island for the last 16 years.”
“It may be my last Paralympics, but I’ve got unfinished business with athletics and I hope to show you all next year what I am about in Kobe. Athletics is a tough sport & that’s one of the reasons why I love it. Thanks once again, Michael.”
Twitter was flooded with messages of support for the Paralympic legend, who has taken the sport from strength to strength and will no doubt continue to do so in the future.