Brannigan has undoubtedly become the man to beat in men’s T20 middle-distance racing.
The American – known as Mikey – was diagnosed with autism at three-years-old and competes in the T20 class for intellectually impaired athletes, having taken up running aged eight through the Rolling Thunder Special Needs Program in, New York, USA.
After announcing himself on the to the world stage at Doha 2015 with victory in the 1,500m T20 (3:56.50) and silver over 5,000m, Brannigan’s trajectory continued apace.
In August 2016, he ran a 3:57.58 mile at the 2016 Sir Walter Miler in the USA, shaving nearly six seconds off his previous best and breaking the four-minute mile barrier for the first time.
One month later, Brannigan won Paralympic gold in Rio, controlling the 1,500m from start to finish and crossing the line in 3:51.73.
In February 2017 he broke the 1,500m T20 world record, clocking clocked 3:45.50 en route to finishing seventh in the prestigious Invitational Men’s Mile race at the Millrose Games in New York, USA. Two months later he lowered the 5,000m T20 world record to 14:09.51 too.
By the time the London 2017 World Championships came around, Brannigan was one of the key favourites for gold, and he duly delivered – not once, but twice, with an equally impressive silver in the 5,000m as well.
In the 1,500m, Brannigan pounced with one lap to go, leaving the field in his wake as he safely defended his world title in championship record time (3:53.05). A few days later, Brannigan added gold in the 800m (1:54.24), racing to the front with 200m to go.
He was named Sports Illustrated High School Athlete of the Month for February 2015, while in 2017 he was named Team USA’s Male Paralympic Athlete of the Year.
Further personal information
Sport specific information
He was named a 2014 US Paralympics Track and Field High School All-American in the 800m and 1500m. (teamusa.org, 15 Sep 2014)
He was recruited by over 200 able-bodied NCAA programs but was not able to pass the NCAA Clearinghouse's educational requirements in order to compete at the NCAA level. As a result, he decided to turn pro and compete for New York Athletic Club which would pay some of his training and travelling fee. (milesplit.com, 05 Apr 2019; runnersworld.com, 25 Jan 2017)
|Men's 1500 m T20||Final 1||2015-10-25||1|
|Men's 5000 m T20||Final 1||2015-10-30||2|
|Men's 1500 m T20||Final Round||2016-09-13||1|
|Men's 1500 m T20||Final 1||2017-07-17||1|
|Men's 800 m T20||Heat 1||2017-07-21||1|
|Men's 800 m T20||Final 1||2017-07-22||1|
|Men's 5000 m T20||Final 1||2017-07-23||2|