Athletics

Best Friends Strike Double Gold For Ireland 10 Minutes Apart

Best Friends Strike Double Gold For Ireland 10 Minutes Apart

In the melee after he won his eighth World Championship gold on Sunday night, Michael McKillop managed to locate his best friend trackside.

McKillop had just claimed gold for Ireland in the T38 800m at the World Para Athletics Championships. It just so happened that approximately 10 minutes earlier, his best friend Jason Smyth had also won gold in the T13 100m.

McKillop led the visually-impaired Smyth on a lap of honour. The pair, from Antrim and Derry, had just doubled Ireland's medal haul at the Championships.

Speaking after his race, McKillop said it had been a special moment to win gold just minutes after his friend. He also added that seeing his fiance in tears demonstrated that his achievement had not been an individual one.

It's really special to have followed in the footsteps of your best friend. To have that moment to be able to do a lap of honour together after so many years competing in Paralympic sport.

Also to be able to do it here with my fiance and family in the crowd it's even better. To see her in tears it just shows you that it's teamwork. It's not just me on the track - it's my whole family and all the support team.

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Like McKillop, having his family in the crowd also made the moment more special for Jason Smyth. The 30-year-old won his sixth World Championships gold on Sunday.

When you come back to London and you look back at the Games here and consider how incredible it was the reality is they've set new standards and a new bar for how world championships should be done. Adding that all into tonight it's just phenomenal to be here and to do it again.

I had my wife and my daughter in the crowd, and all my family and it's those moments that make it all the more special, to enjoy it with the people that mean the most.

Photo by Luc Percival/Sportsfile

See Also: Sonia O'Sullivan's Daughter Crowned Irish U17 1500m Champion

PJ Browne
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