Jason Smyth has won gold in the T13 100m final at the IPC Athletics World Championships in Lyon.
Smyth emulated the feat of his room-mate Michael McKillop by completing his own double-double in resounding fashion.
Smyth blitzed the field with a stunning start in the Rhone Stadium and asserted himself all the way to the line to ensure that he set a new championship record for the T13 100m of 10.61.
The powerful Derry-born sprinter finished an incredible half-second clear of runner-up Jonathan Ntutu (South Africa), with Bulgaria’s Radoslav Zlatanov just denying Nambala Johannes of Namibia for the bronze.
Smith had already equalled the world record when annexing the 200m crown in similarly convincing fashion on Sunday and has now repeated the double he achieved at last year’s Paralympics.
McKillop secured an 800m/1500m double during the week and did likewise in London 12 months ago.
Smyth, who has competed at the European Championships for able-bodied athletes, was delighted to have made up for missing out on the 2011 IPC World Athletics Championships in Christchurch due to injury.
“It’s fantastic to be here and finished. I’ve crossed the line twice and won both gold medals. Not making New Zealand just makes it a little more sweeter this year so I’m just delighted all the work I’ve put in has paid off," Smyth said.
“It’s fantastic - for Michael and I - to have each other in very similar situations as we go into most major championships. It’s good to have somebody to bounce things off and just enjoy it.
“It’s extremely tough when you’ve under 10% vision. Everything is blurry, but it’s the only way I can ever remember it, so to me it’s normal.
"But if you imagine taking away 90% of your vision, you’ll struggle with everything.
"It’s just a case of getting on with it and trying to make the most of the situation.”
There was plenty of drama for John McCarthy, whose T51 200m final will be re-run tomorrow morning, after an appeal by Italian, Alvise de Vidi was upheld by competition judges.
McCarthy paced himself well to finish sixth in a personal best time of 43.62, coming home strongly in the straight after a patient start and showing excellent strength into a -2.2 headwind.
It would have been his second PB of the championships, which is just what is to be expected from someone of the Dunmanway athlete’s pedigree.
A silver medallist in discus at the Athens Paralympics in 2004, as well as an international wheelchair rugby player, the 39-year-old made a quick enough transition to the track to make his third Paralympic Games last year and has continued to improve.
His final will get the morning session under way tomorrow, while 16-year-old Heather Jameson must be looking forward to her strongest event, the T37/38 long jump final, having already competed in the T37/38 100m and 200m.
Amanda Crotty will compete in her first major championships in the T12 1500m, with Kevin Nolan her guide in the opening semi-final.
Day 7 (July 26) schedule for Irish athletes (Irish time):
8:40 JOHN MCCARTHY (T51 200m final)
9:47 HEATHER JAMESON (T37/38 long jump final)
10:39 AMANDA CROTTY (T12 1500m semi-final)