July was a very busy month with a lot of success from our supported athletes. It was a difficult decision, but we have chosen Aled Davies and Michael McKillop for their successes at the Para Athletics World Championships last month. Both athletes added to their medal collections winning more golds in London.
Aled Davies won his fifth para athletic title in the F42 discus at London 2017 in July. In addition to this, Aled also won the F42 shot put, breaking the world record. Aled’s first throw was a World Championship record of 16.02m and his second a 17.52m world record.
“No offence to Rio [de Janeiro, host of the 2016 Paralympics], this for me was bigger than Rio,” said Aled.
“I told my coach at the start of the year that I wanted to throw a PB [personal best] and a world record and won gold in front of the home crowd and I did it.
“As soon as that second throw left my fingers I knew that I’d done it. I’ve been working so hard and I am so happy to be able to throw a world record. Everyone knows how hard I’ve worked.”
Aled now aspires to competing against able-bodied athletes in the Commonwealth Games in 2022.
Michael McKillop completed a middle distance double by winning the T37 1500m final, in addition to the T38 800m at the World Para-athletics Championships in London. Michael has not been beaten in a major international event since the 2006 European Championships.
The 1500m final was run at a fairly pedestrian pace with the opening 800m being clocked at two minutes, 46 seconds. That played into the hands of the dominant leader Michael McKillop, who has run under two minutes for the 800m on numerous occasions in able-bodied competition.
Both Aled and Michael deserve to be recognised for their fantastic achievements at the Para Athletics World Championships – congratulations – July Athletes of the Month!