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Smyth's Lucerne agony

JASON Smyth's dream of matching Oscar Pistorius' milestone this week did not come true in Lucerne, Switzerland last night.

Pistorius, the South African 400m athlete known as 'Bladerunner' because of his prosthetic legs, made history midweek by running 45.07 to qualify for the London Olympics.

Smyth, the partially sighted double-Paralympic champion, who was the first Paralympic athlete to compete in the mainstream European Championships last summer, was hoping to match that achievement.

However, the Derry sprinter came fifth in the 100m won by Jamaica's Nickel Ashmeade in 10.24, with the times slow across the board. Smyth's 10.43 run was well outside the 10.18 Olympic qualifying time.

Derval O'Rourke, who has already secured her Olympic qualification, was third in the 100m hurdles (in 13.14) won by Lisa Urech in 12.94. Paul Hession (Athenry) was fifth in the 200m in 20.82.

Elsewhere, Craughwell's Maeve Curley underlined the growing depth in Ireland's race walking ranks when she finished 10th in the 10km walk on the opening day of the European Junior (U-20) Championships in Tallinn.

European Junior Championships,

Live, Eurosport, 5.15

Irish Independent