PARALYMPICS Jason Smyth Wins 100m Gold, Silver for Lisa Callaghan at World Paralympic Athletics Championships

Smyth Wins Again at Paralympic World Athletics Championships in Holland 

Jason Smyth wins second gold in 100 meters setting new world record of 10.86 seconds   

Lisa Callaghan Secures Silver in F37 Javelin Event, Irish tally rises to five medals 

September 6, 2006

Jason Smyth set a new Paralympic World Record of 10.86 seconds in the final of the T13 100 meters, to win his second gold medal of the World Championships. The Derry teenager, the favorite going into the final, handled the pressure applied by Matthias Schroeder of Germany ( 11.05) and Jonathon Ntutu of South Africa (11.25) and controlled the race from start to finish, ending up an impressive winner.  

The Assen venue was packed and the atmosphere tense with Andre Andrade of Brazil, one of the main rivals to Smyth, disqualified for false starting.   However, nothing could distract Smyth from completing an impressive series of races and making history by becoming the first Irish Paralympian to become a double world athletics champion.

Jason Smyth " I was confident all week despite a couple of injury worries and am delighted with the two gold medals and the two world records. It has been a great series of races for me and I have learnt a lot about championship running this week".

Lisa Callaghan won a silver medal in the F37 javelin event. Her first throw in the competition reached 22.75 and was enough to secure silver. It was very tight competition the Meath athlete was only 3 centimeters ahead of the bronze medal and 27 centimeters ahead of 4 th place. Ayda Sidhom of Tunisia won gold with a throw of 24.02 meters.

Lisa Callaghan "I am happy to come away with a medal because the competition was tight and I could have ended up with nothing. My target was a podium place and my world record is still intact, so I'm pleased with that".

1500 meter silver medalist Michael McKillop returned to action in the T37 800 meter semi final. The 16 year Belfast runner cruised into the final finishing second in is race in a time of 2.13.56 suggesting that he will be in the shake up for another medal in Friday's final.

Roy Guerin  progressed from the semi final of the T54 100 meters. The Kerry wheelchair athlete recorded a time of 16.33 seconds, a season's best placing him third in his semi and making him the only European in tomorrow's final.

Patrice Dockery, Dublin, took part in the semi final of the T54 200 meters. Dockery's time of 54.72 was not enough to secure a place in the final.

Noel Brennan, Team Manager, said "Jason is pure quality, he is setting new standards for Irish Paralympic sport and is a major star on the world scene.   Lisa's event was difficult to predict as she went in ranked 4th this year and not feeling 100%. It is a tribute to her mental resolve that she was able to produce a big first throw to win the medal."   

Thursday at the Championships will see the return to action of Rosemary Tallon in the   F53 javelin, Patrice Dockery in the T54 1500 meters and the appearance of Trevor Dunne from Clondakin in Dublin in the F35 discus competition.

The IPC World Championships is the most prestigious event for disability athletes outside the Paralympic Games, with 1500 athletes competing from 77 countries in 240 events. An added incentive for athletes is that performances will have a direct bearing on the allocation of competition places for the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games. The Irish team comprises of 14 Athletes (10 Men, 4 Women) from three disability groups, supported by a staff complement of 9 coaches and officials.

For further Information contact

John Fulham                  087 2709182

Paul McDermott                Irish Sports Council                      087 6486295

or visit the Paralympic Council of Ireland Website

Images with Sportsfile