The streets of London are paved with gold for Ireland’s Paralympians after Triple Crown success on Saturday.
American-based sprinter Jason Smyth has been renamed Jas-ain Smyth after smashing his own world record en route to 100 metre gold.
Middle-distance runner Michael McKillop and swimmer Darragh McDonald also hit gold on a super Saturday for Irish athletes at the London games.
Star of the show was Smyth who trains with American star Tyson Gay in Florida and now has his sights set on a gold medal double in the 200 metres.
The world’s fastest Paralympian, Smyth posted an incredible time of 10.46 as he beat his nearest rival by over half a second in front of 80,000 fans at London’s Olympic stadium.
The visually impaired Derry born 25-year-old, celebrated on a lap of honour with the Irish tricolour draped across his shoulders.
He later told reporters: “It was an added bonus to run quickly and break the world record again. I’ve put in so much hard work.
“People already had the medal around my neck before I started so you can’t really go beyond what’s expected.
“Now I’ve got to keep focused for the 200 metres. To be in that stadium with 80,000 people, half of them seeming like they’re Irish cheering, and even the British were really supportive, makes the whole Games a lot better.”
Antrim’s McKillop also broke the world record as he raced to victory in the men’s 800m final.
The 22-year-old set the new time as he won the 800 metresT37 in a time of 1.57, almost four seconds faster than his nearest rival.
Wexford amputee Darragh McDonald won the Men’s 400 metre Freestyle Final at the London Aquatic Centre.
As the Irish team made it four gold medals in as many days, Ireland’s Sports Minister Leo Varadkar said: “I wish to warmly congratulate our athletes on achieving gold. It’s been a wonderful day for Team Ireland.”
Moving to Ireland
After living in Ireland for almost one year, this is what I’ve learned