Undefeated Jason Smyth Retires To Take Management Role At Paralympics Ireland

29 March 2023

Undefeated Jason Smyth Retires To Take Management Role At Paralympics Ireland

Iconic Irish Paralympian Jason Smyth has today announced his retirement from Para Athletics. The Derry native has decided to hang up his spikes after a golden career that spanned three decades and included four Paralympic Games including Beijing (2008), London (2012), Rio de Janeiro (2016) and Tokyo (2021). The 35 year old Paralympic and World Champion retires having never lost a competitive Para Athletics event throughout his entire career.

Jason Smyth is the acclaimed “Fastest Paralympian on the Planet”, with a glittering career which saw him win gold medals in every event in which he competed including six gold medals at the Paralympic Games in the 100m and 200m events. He also claimed 8 Gold medals at World Championships 6 gold medals at European Championships and a gold at the World Indoor Championships over 60 metres.

Jason also retires as the current European, World and Paralympic Champion in the event that he helped to redefine; the T13 100m and he is the current World Record holder in both events. His final performance at the Paralympic Games may be remembered amongst his very greatest as he showed all his class to hold off the challenge of Algeria’s Skander Djamil Athmani to edge him out by one hundredth of a second.

The Paralympic legend, who has less than 10% vision due to an eye condition known as Stargardt’s Disease, also competed in non-Paralympic athletics. He won two Athletics Ireland National Championships in the 100m and represented Ireland at two European Athletics Championships where he reached the semi finals as well as the World Athletics Championships, making him the first ever Paralympian to compete in those events . Jason also represented Northern Ireland at the Commonwealth Games in 2014. He has run 100m in 10.22 seconds making him the 3rd fastest 100m sprinter in Irish history and the fastest in Northern Irish history.

Jason will continue to be a hugely positive influence on Irish Paralympic Sport away from the track as he will be joining the staff at Paralympics Ireland where he will take up the roll of Strategy Manager with the organisation, a position he will take up with immediate effect.

Speaking about his retirement, world record holder, Jason Smth said “I think now is the right time for me to step away from competitive Paralympic Sport. I lived and fulfilled the dream and now I hope to support the next generation of para-athletes on their journey.  I have loved my time with Team Ireland and I have had many incredible memories that I will really treasure from my time as an athlete. There are so many people that have helped me along the way from my coaches, support staff, to my teammates, partners and my competitors. I would especially like to pay tribute to my incredible and very patient family, especially my wife, Elise and my daughters Evie and Lottie.”

“I now look forward to joining my new teammates at Paralympics Ireland. I feel that I have a lot to offer thanks to my experiences as an athlete and as someone that has been in the Paralympic and Disability sporting environment since my youth. I can’t wait to start this new stage of my career and giving back to the sport that has meant so much to me.”

Tom Reynolds, Performance Lead at Athletics NI said “To remain undefeated across three decades is a unique achievement that must put Jason up there among the all-time greatest sportspeople from Northern Ireland. It has been a privilege to be a part of his performance team for the final five years of his career and to witness the performance behaviours and mindset required to achieve at the highest level. Two key elements behind much of Jason’s success and in particular, leading up to the Tokyo Paralympics, has been the guidance of Stephen Maguire and the impact of the Sport NI Sports Institute on preparing Jason for major championships and keeping injuries to a minimum. I wish Jason all the best in the next chapter of his career and look forward to seeing him achieve great things once more.”


Jason Smyth’s Career Highlights

Paralympic Games

Beijing 2008         T13 100m Gold Medal       T13 200m Gold Medal

London 2012       T13 100m Gold Medal       T13 200m Gold Medal

Rio 2016               T13 100m Gold Medal

Tokyo 2020          T13 100m Gold Medal

World Championships

Assen 2006          T13 100m Gold Medal       T13 200m Gold Medal

Lyon 2013            T13 100m Gold Medal       T13 200m Gold Medal

Doha 2015           T13 100m Gold Medal

London 2017       T13 100m Gold Medal       T13 200m Gold Medal

Dubai 2019          T13 100m Gold Medal

European Championships

Espoo 2005          T13 100m Gold Medal       T13 200m Gold Medal

Swansea 2014     T12 100m Gold Medal       T12 200m Gold Medal

Berlin 2018          T13 100m Gold Medal       T13 200m Gold Medal

World Indoor Championships

Bollnas 2006        T13 60m Gold Medal