Irish sprinter Jason Smyth (23) has bowed out of the European Championships after a fantastic performance that helped establish him as a top class international sprinter.

The Derryman suffers from Stargardt's disease, a rare disease affecting his central vision and which usually leads to the point of legal blindness, but he hasn’t let that deter him from launching a successful international athletics career.

He finished fourth in the 100m semi-final, covering the distance in  10.46, a few tenths of a second shy of Christophe Lemaitre's winning time of 10.06.

The famously laid back Derryman told reporters how his sisters hadn’t attended the race as they are currently on holidays in Florida: “My two younger sisters didn't want to come watch me race for their holidays!” he joked but, if so, they were among the exceptions,” he said.

Despite the media attention, though, Smyth remained unfazed. He won double Paralympic gold in 2008 and has been in the media spotlight ever since.

David Gillick, who last night ran an impressive 400m semi-final, is through to tomorrow’s final at the European Championships in Barcelona.