Visually impaired Jason Smyth hails from Eglinton in county Derry and rose to fame following the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games when he won the 100m and 200m T13 races in world record times at 10.62 seconds and 21.43 seconds respectfully.
Interestingly the Derry man is situated in Florida and often trains with US sprinter Tyson Gay, former world champion and renowned 100m sprinter.
Of course his success in Beijing was built upon a successful run at the 2006 IPC Athletics World Championships in Holland where he won gold in both the 100m and 200m events just as preparations for London were fuelled by the IAAF World Championships in Korea this year.
Jason is a remarkable athlete and had fortune favoured he could have competed in this year’s Olympic Games. Jason Achieved the Olympic “B” standard time for the 100m (10.22) seconds but fell just short of the “A” standard time of 10.18 seconds. In an agonizingly close call, Jason was nearly the first track athlete to compete at both Olympic and Paralympic Games.
It hasn’t affected his focus however, and the fast as lightning Smyth is now ready to retain his Paralympic 100m and 200m titles. Without a doubt he is one to watch as one of the most outstanding, exciting performers on the Irish team and undoubtedly he will have high hopes for a medal at London’s paralympic games.
Here’s a video on Jason Smyth:
Moving to Ireland
After living in Ireland for almost one year, this is what I’ve learned