PARALYMPICS Medal Success for Irish Team at Paralympic World Athletics Championships in Holland

Jason Smyth Enjoys Victory in 200 meter Final in new world record time

Michael McKillop wins silver in breakthrough performance at 800 meters

September 4, 2006

 Jason Smyth, the new star of Irish Paralympic sport, won his first world title in Assen, Holland, this afternoon. The Derry athlete was the fastest qualifier for the event and dominated from the gun. Jason's winning time of 21.83 seconds broke his own existing world record by one hundredth of a second, an impressive performance in windy conditions.  Matthias Schroeder of Germany made it a stiff test for Smyth, finishing second in 22.25. The 19 year-old junior star returns to the track on Tuesday to begin his campaign for a gold in the 100 meters. 

After the race Jason Smyth said "I am delighted with that, especially as I had picked up a couple of niggles during the week. I am very satisfied in that it was a technically good race as I ran a good bend and a strong final straight".   

 Belfast teenager Michael McKillop won a fantastic silver medal in the T37 1500 meter final, demonstrating that he is a major talent with a big future. The 16 year old raced with great maturity, surviving a typically rough 1500 meter championship race and coming from off the pace in 4 th at the bell to finish strongest of all in a new personal best 4.24.26. Djamel Mastouri of France won the race in a new Games record of 4.20.20.

Eoin Cleare exceeded his expectation in the final of the F32 Shot Putt. Throwing a personal best of 6.25 he finished in 6 th overall, a major breakthrough at this level for the 35 year old Offaly native.

The F52 discus final involving Garrett Culleton from Laois was running late with the final result distributed as soon as it is available.

Patrice Dockery, Dublin, did not progress from her T54 100 meter semi final.

Noel Brennan, Team Manager, said "We saw some outstanding performances today. We have known for a long time that Jason and Michael are big talents and it is exciting to see them deliver on their potential in championship conditions.   They represent the new generation of Paralympic athletes who will continue the tradition of Irish excellence and achievement in the sport".

Tuesday at the Championships will again involve Jason Smyth in the T13 100 meter semi-final, Rosemary Tallon from Drogheda in the F51 /F53 discus final, and Patrice Dockery is back on the track in the T54 800 semi-final.

The IPC World Championships is the most prestigious event for disability athletes outside the Paralympic Games, with   1,500 athletes competing from 77 countries in 240 events. An added incentive for athletes is that  performances having 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  communications@pcireland.ie                  087 2709182

Paul McDermott                Irish Sports Council             087 6486295

or visit the Paralympic Council of Ireland Website www.pcireland.ie