Smyth on form for World Para Athletics European Championship success
21 August 2018
The fastest Paralympian in the World, Jason Smyth, will be hoping to add another major title to his already substantial haul of medals in today's (Tues) 200 metres final of the World Paralympic European Champs in the Olympic Stadium, Berlin.
31-year-old Smyth will be competing for Ireland in the T13 visually impaired category in an event where he will once again face world silver medallist Mateusz Michalski of Poland. However, on current form, Smyth who is formerly from Ebrington, will have little difficulty successfully defending his European title from Swansea in 2014.
Father of two Jason who is based in Belfast hit top form a week ago with a time of 21.40 secs at Lee Valley which equals his performance when taking the World Paralympic title in London a year ago. At the same meeting he also ran his fastest 100 metres time in 2 years of 10.53 secs.
Smyth's achievements are legendary in the Paralympic world with no less than 16 major Para awards to his name which include 5 Paralympic and 7 World titles over the years.
Commenting on his success Smyth said;
"The reality is I've been running since 2005 and haven't actually been beaten. However, there is no way I'm going to go my whole career without that being tested or challenged. And the longer you're in the game the more likely that is to happen".
This is very unlikely to occur today given Smyth's current form. Main rival Michalski is in a field of 7 and has a season's best of 21.81 secs which is probably safe for silver but is unlikely to trouble Smyth.
Jason who holds the NI able bodied 100 metres record of 10.22 secs will be attempting to hold something in reserve today for the heats and final on Thursday over the shorter distance.
There will be significant NI interest in these European Champs. In addition to Smyth there is a welcome return to the sport under GB & NI colours for Limavady's Sally Brown who competes over 100, 200 and 400 metres in the T47 class which covers a limb deficiency.
GB & NI’s huge 53-person squad also includes 16-year-old Bangor school girl Eve Walsh-Dann who holds British records for 100 and 200 metres in the T36 category for mild cerebral palsy. Newcomer David Leavy of City of Lisburn AC will also compete in T38 mild cerebral palsy 1,500 metres for Ireland.