Monday 21 August 2017

Jason Smyth and Michael McKillop strike gold in London

Para Athletics

Jason Smyth and Michael McKillop celebrate winning gold at the Para Athletics World Championships in London’s Olympic Stadium. Photo: Sportsfile
Jason Smyth and Michael McKillop celebrate winning gold at the Para Athletics World Championships in London’s Olympic Stadium. Photo: Sportsfile

independent.ie Sportsdesk

Ireland's Jason Smyth has sensationally won his sixth world gold medal at the Para Athletics World Championships in London last night.

In front of a huge audience in the Olympic Stadium, the Derry sprinter was one of the star attractions, delivering an electrifying performance to take 100m gold in 10.63seconds.

Speaking afterwards, the five-time Paralympic champion said: "I knew from the heats I'd run the quickest and it was mine to lose, so it was just about going out and executing my race, being patient and thankfully I was able to cross the line first.

"When you come back to London and you look back at the Games here and consider how incredible it was, the reality is they've set new standards and a new bar for how World Championships should be done. Adding that all into tonight, it's just phenomenal to be here and to do it again.

"I had my wife and my daughter in the crowd, and all my family, and it's those moments that make it all the more special, to enjoy it with the people that mean the most."

Michael McKillop made it a double celebration for the Irish in the Olympic Stadium when he added the T38 800m title only moments later; remarkably his eighth World Championships gold medal. The Antrim athlete delivered an assured performance, winning in a season's best time of 2:00.92.

The four-time Paralympic champion said of the race itself: "Myself and my dad came up with tactics for today from Beijing 2008. No one in that race today was in my race in Beijing so they didn't know what I was going to do.

"I looked over my right shoulder from 240m to go and did a pick-up and the Canadian came right behind me. I just kicked and whenever I do that no one can stay with me. I was able to keep driving on for the finish line."

Record

Irish Paralympians Niamh McCarthy and Orla Barry claimed discus silver medals on Saturday.

McCarthy's best mark in competition, her fifth throw of 26.17m, was good enough to secure a precious silver behind Paralympic champion Raoua Tlili of Tunisia, with a championship record of 32.29m.

Barry secured her World Championships silver with a best throw of 28.89 coming in the second round.

Meanwhile, at the National Juvenille Championships, Sophie O'Sullivan was an impressive winner of the U-17 1500m in 4:41.80. She followed in her mother Sonia O'Sullivan's footsteps, who won this title in 1985. Stephanie Cotter (West Muskerry) was another good 1500m winner in the U-19 girls age group with 4:34.09.

Irish Independent

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