Medals and not records are on Michael McKillop's agenda

The Antrim athlete is looking for his fourth Paralympic gold, in Rio

Medals and not records are on Michael McKillop's agenda

Michael McKillop. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Action Images/Matthew Childs

Michael McKillop begins his third Paralympic campaign on Sunday afternoon looking to win his fourth gold medal.

The 26-year-old is looking to win his second Paralympic gold medal in a row in the T37 1,500-metres. McKillop was the back-to-back 800-metres champion in Beijing and London, but that distance is not being ran in Brazil.

Like his great friend Jason Smyth, McKillop is one of the stars of the Irish Paralympic team. He hopes to match Smyth's achievements later today in winning gold at three successive Games.

Speaking to Newstalk Sport's Oisin Langan, McKillop revealed that preparations have not been the smoothest since London. Injuries in recent years have halted his progress.

"The years have caught up on me, slightly. I've had foot injuries. I'm not going to lie. There's underlying problems and have been for years."

Despite the injuries he admitted he was "very much excited" ahead of competing. "I'm going to have to live up to people's expectations once again... People expect me to win. That's my aim, my goal, my ambition."

Smyth's gold medal has added pressure onto McKillop. Both men have grown up together and have competed in three Paralympic Games. The Ballymena athlete told Oisin Langan that he "has to win the gold medal" after Smyth's sprint triumph.

Having broken two World Records on his way to three gold medals, McKillop only wants to win in Rio. The gold medal is front and centre in his thoughts.

"If I run five minutes for the 1500, I dont really care. As long as I come across the line first, that's all that matters."

Michael McKillop runs in the final of the T37 1,500-metres on Sunday afternoon at 3.59pm.