SHAY TOP DTC PERFORMER AT DONEGAL CROSS-COUNTRY

8 October 2017

New recruit Shay Heaney caught the eye at the Donegal Uneven Age Group Championships held at the Finn Valley Centre in Stranorlar.

After leading for a good part of the way, the recent recruit to DTC colours held on for a fine fourth place in the U15 race.

Ben Mellon continues to improve with every outing.

Ben Mellon, in 11th, was the first DTC finisher in the U17 race and was well supported by Dylan Doherty and Tom McLaughlin.

DTC LADY MASTERS SHINE AT ROAD RELAYS

7 October 2017

Derry Track Club’s lady masters put in the top performance for the club at the Orangegrove AC-organised NI & Ulster Road Relays in Victoria Park, Belfast.

L-R: Marina Murphy, Elaine Connor and Lisa McLaughlin.

Elaine Connor (12:57) opened brightly with an outstanding sixth place on the opening leg.  Lisa McLaughlin kept DTC in contention on the second leg with a fine 13:48 timing before Marina Murphy (12:03 = 4th fastest overall) moved impressively through the field to finish fifth at the finish line.  That was just 49 seconds off the bronze medal position.

The male Masters’ were also in medal contention for most of the 4 x 3380m contest before having to settle for sixth.  One minute and ten seconds separated the DTC squad from medals after solid running from Michael Murphy (10:55), Cathal McLaughlin (11:04), Adrian Boyle (11:31) and Andy Maguire (11:43).

Adrian Boyle in action on the third leg.

Controversy shrouded our senior men’s squad with disqualification threatened before a racing shoe was donned.  Running as guests* John McQuade (11:07), Sean McIntyre (11:22), Gideon Kipsang (9:27) and Conán McCaughey (9:57) distinguished themselves by crossing the line in seventh spot.

*appeal ungoing.

Gideon Completes Weekend Double

30 September/1 October 2017

Gideon Kipsang and Laura Graham were the impressive winners of the George Best City Airport-sponsored Bangor 10K hosted by North Down AC on Saturday. Held in sunny but breezy conditions, the race attracted a record entry of almost 1200 runners.

Gideon breasts the tape in Bangor.

Kipsang followed the early leader Paddy Hamilton for the first kilometer through Bangor town centre before taking charge at the front. After that it was just a question of how much the Derry-based Kenyon would win by as he passed the halfway point in 15:05.  The man from the Rift Valley forged on over the hilly country roads around Groomsport before returning to Bangor’s Ward park where he broke the tape in a new course record and personal best of 30 minutes and three seconds.

Some minute and a half in arrears, Paddy Hamilton took the runner-up prize in 31:30 with Chris Madden having arguably his best run of the year to take the bronze medal spot in 32:04. Laganside winner Mark McKinstry had to settle for fourth on this occasion in 32:35, ahead of Craig McMeechan (32:51) and Emmett McGinty (33:01).

Laura Graham make a quick return to action in the women’s race just six days after her phenomenal to 3:37:05 clocking in the Berlin Marathon. They Kilkeel mother of four wasted little time in showing a clean pair of heels to her female opposition as she flew to a 34:37 timing for 15th place overall.

The host club’s Jessica Craig took second in 36:09, well clear of Cathy McCourt who returned to competition after injury with a 38:06 timing.  Amanda Perry (39:11), Rachel Gibson (39:20) and Ann Terek (39:34) completed the top half dozen ladies.

Gideon Kipsang completed a weekend double when he was first past the post in yesterday’s Marty’s Run 5K held in cold and wet conditions in Derry. The Kenyan got caught up at the start in the congestion of the 600 strong field and allowed Scott Rankin to open a 100 metres in the first kilometer.  Kipsang did not panic and had hauled in the Foyle Valley athlete by the third kilometer marker before going on to win from Rankin by seven seconds in a nippy 15:05. Adrian McGowan was a strong third in 16:26. Catherine Whoriskey was a class apart in the women’s race winning in 18:07.

The cross country season made an early start with the Donegal Masters’ and Even Age Group Championships in a windy Carndonagh. There was a shock in the opening race, the women Masters’ race, when Marina Murphy defeated reigning Irish champion Fionnuala Diver from the Letterkenny club.  The Derry Track Club woman stalked her rival until the last 400m of the three kilometer event before unleashing an impressive sprint that carried her to the gold medal.

Acorns AC runner Natalie Hall filled the final place on the podium ahead of DTC’s Elaine Connor who continues to improve with every race.  Finn Valley ladies took the team award.

Marina’s Rich Vein of Form Continues

There was another tight tussle in the men’s race before Letterkenny’s Karl Duggan got away from the persistent Chris McGuinness of the Foyle Valley club to win by 16 seconds. City of Derry’s Archie McElhinney was good value for the bronze medal after a strong performance.  Letterkenny packed well to take the team title.

Andrew Maguire was the first DTC finisher in 26th (17:41) followed by 40th Robert Bigger (18:52) and 52nd David Mellon (20:22).  The DTC juveniles also kicked off their cross country season impressively with Sean McIntyre taking 6th in the U16 race.  Behind him, newcomer Dylan Doherty caught the eye with a 14th spot on his debut in the green vest.  Ben Mellon also worked hard in the U16 race to end up 11th.

 

Big Dawg Closes Season in Style

23 September 2017

Conor (Big Dawg) McIlveen ended his season in the best possible way with a sparkling double at the British Cerebral Palsy Games in Nottingham.

Double gold for Big Dawg.

Conor opened his account with an outright victory in the 100m in a personal best 13.01 seconds into 0.4 breeze.  Despite only taking up sprinting in June, the Big Dawg handed out a thrashing to opponents who boasted superior personal bests.

“I was very pleased with my performance, given that I was competing against two guys who have represented Britain in international paralympic competition,” said Conor after the 100m.

“The condition of the track was poor, very slippy, and acknowledged by all to be running slow in comparison with other tracks in the Nottingham area.”

McIlveen returned to the track just 90 minutes later  in deteriorating conditions to blast his way to victory in the 400m in 58.96 seconds, marginally outside his personal best.

The DTC star finished off the afternoon with another win in  a special 100m clocking 13.14 seconds into a 2.4 metres per second wind.

 

GIDEON CONTINUES WINNING STREAK IN BELFAST HALF

17 September 2017

Gideon takes in some of Belfast’s murals.

Gideon Kipsang and Catriona Jennings both scored comfortable victories in yesterday’s 5th Deep RiverRock Belfast Marathon held in perfect running conditions.  A record field of 3500 entered the event causing slight congestion problems at the start on Ormeau Embankment.

That did not deter home favourite Stephen Scullion from making a flying start.  The former North Belfast Harrier, now Clonliffe Harrier, soon broke up the field with only Kenyan Gideon Kipsang for company as the leaders returned past Ormeau Park after three and a half miles.

Sixty metres behind the leading pair, another Kenyan and 2016 winner Freddy Sittuk appeared to have decided that discretion was the greater part of valour in settling for third spot. Some distance behind the local posse headed by John Black, Pierce McCullagh and Kyle Doherty fought for top ten places.

Letterkenny’s marathon Olympian Catriona Jennings already had a massive lead in the women’s race with provincial Masters’ cross country champion Amy Bulman in second enjoying an equally decisive advantage over Sarah-Jane Guiney in the bronze spot.

Little was changed in the men’s race at the seven mile mark except Kipsang (34:43) had now eked out a 20 seconds lead over Scullion with Sittuk a further minute back in third and Black still working hard in fourth.

Although Jennings was still out in front in the women’s race, it was all change behind her with Bulman pulling out after complaining of not feeling well. Meanwhile Judith Lonnen and Ciara Toner were making visible improvement further down the field as Guiney started to slip back.

As an expectant crowd awaited the arrival of the winner back in Ormeau Park, it was wheelchair athlete Jim Corbett who was first to appear with a Kipsang hot on his heels. The Derry Track Club runner broke the tape in 64:38, that was 14 seconds outside his own race record set two years earlier when it took a photo to split himself and compatriot Dan Tanui.

“We went through 10K in 30minutes and I went away after that,” said Kipsang. “I was looking at my watch after that to make sure I didn’t go too fast. It’s a great course and a great race.”

Scullion occupied the runner-up spot in 66:12 ahead of Sittuk (70:06) who returns to Kenya today but will come back to Ireland for next month’s Dublin City Marathon. Northern Ireland champion at the distance John Black (71:52) took fourth ahead of Kyle Doherty (72:02) with Pierce McCullagh (73:25) completing the top half dozen.

Catriona Jennings had an untroubled passage back to the park to win the women’s race in a new course record of 75:38. Judith Lonnen showed extensive reserves of energy to come through to snatch second in 83:25, ahead of Ciara Toner (83:33) with the brave Sarah-Jane Guiney (84:11) deserving better than fourth.

“It was comfortable all the way,” said Dublin-based Jennings. “There was no pressure at any time which is why I’m surprised to have run so fast.”

15 September 2017

Memorial 5K – Gransha

The small contingent of DTC athletes made their presence felt at the well organised Memorial 5K.  The club’s professional Gideon Kipsang scored a comfortable victory in 15:33.  Lisa McLaughlin had an excellent result to finish second female overall while Sean McIntyre was top Junior man.  Ben Mellon also showed good form in another improving performance.

BOBBY FARREN MEMORIAL RESOUNDING SUCCESS

12 September 2017

Derry Track Club’s inaugural Bobby Farren Memorial 5K was an outstanding hit with everyone who took part.  Over 160 signed up for the fast, flat course around Eglinton village in rural County Derry.  The weather gods smiled on the event with  a light drizzle  taking the place of the hurricane forecast by the meteorologists.

DTC’s professional Gideon Kipsang made a winning debut in the green and black vest in an impressive 15:20 while Springwell’s Ciara Toner was the leading lady on show clocking a smart 18:15.

DTC would like to thank all club members and others who helped out on the night including Maureen and Alice McLaughlin who were in charge of the catering.

Bobby Farren Memorial 5k – Eglinton
Tuesday, 15th September 2017
Place Name Club Category Gun Time Ave Pace
1 Gideon Kipsang Derry Track Club MO 14:51.00 2:58/K
2 Marty Cox MO 15:20.81 3:04/K
3 Kevin O’Boyle n/A MO 16:31.23 3:18/K
4 James Walton MO 16:51.71 3:22/K
5 Jason Scott Springwell MO 17:03.26 3:25/K
6 Conor Devitt Foyle Valley MO 17:18.36 3:28/K
7 Stephen Fillis Springwell MO 17:24.65 3:29/K
8 Bernard Brady Unattached M50 17:25.92 3:29/K
9 Michael Kerr Carmen Runners M40 17:30.13 3:30/K
10 Kieran Carlin Finn VALLEY M40 17:30.69 3:30/K
11 Marty Ross Bolt M40 17:53.29 3:35/K
12 Seamus Bonner M40 17:55.11 3:35/K
13 Mark Houston B2R MO 17:57.70 3:35/K
14 Colm Mulligan Acorns M40 18:11.38 3:38/K
15 Ciara Toner Springwell F35 18:14.59 3:39/K
16 Daniel Devenney City of Derry Spartans MJ 18:25.12 3:41/K
17 Aaron Craig Springwell MJ 18:26.85 3:41/K
18 Paula Worthington Ballymena Runners F35 18:30.79 3:42/K
19 James Beady n/A M40 18:35.11 3:43/K
20 David Shiels MO 18:39.30 3:44/K
21 Philip Donaghy City of Derry Spartans M45 18:45.38 3:45/K
22 Glenda Whiteside Springwell F35 19:01.84 3:48/K
23 Joseph Mc Carthy City of Derry Spartans MO 19:02.24 3:48/K
24 Gavin McLaughlin Eglinton Road Runners M40 19:04.50 3:49/K
25 Gary McFadden Foyle Valley M40 19:09.19 3:50/K
26 Pat Hegarty Finn VALLEY M55 19:17.89 3:51/K
27 Rian Norrby BOH MJ 19:21.40 3:52/K
28 Gavin Boyce Finn VALLEY M45 19:22.70 3:52/K
29 Bobby Farren M45 19:23.58 3:53/K
30 Patrick McGinley MO 19:25.48 3:53/K
31 David Jackson n/A M45 19:28.90 3:54/K
32 Seamus Hampson Foyle Valley MO 19:32.37 3:54/K
33  McCrossan Foyle Valley FJ 19:34.57 3:55/K
34 Darren Walsy n/A MO 19:46.21 3:57/K
35 Darren Madden Springwell M40 19:51.03 3:58/K
36 Kay Byrne Finn VALLEY F50 19:51.63 3:58/K
37 Niall Hassan Acorns MO 19:51.73 3:58/K
38 Gary Moore MO 19:54.50 3:59/K
39 Declan McGuinness n/A MO 19:54.97 3:59/K
40 Geraldine Quigley Ballymena Runners F40 20:01.67 4:00/K
41 Will Colvin MO 20:03.39 4:01/K
42 Kevin Doherty Eglinton Road Runners M45 20:09.78 4:02/K
43 Ian Galbraith n/A M45 20:10.06 4:02/K
44 Lisa Mc Laughlin Derry Track Club F35 20:23.82 4:05/K
45 Gregory O Brien Springwell M45 20:34.25 4:07/K
46 Stephen Thompson Eglinton Road Runners MO 20:35.97 4:07/K
47 Martin Smith MO 20:37.00 4:07/K
48 William Irvine n/A M50 20:46.16 4:09/K
49 Rhonda Brady Unattached F45 20:46.85 4:09/K
50 Tony Grant Foyle Valley M60 20:57.32 4:11/K
51 Verona Campbell Foyle Valley F50 20:57.52 4:11/K
52 Dawn Houston Eglinton Road Runners F35 20:59.20 4:12/K
53 Michael J Farren n/A M50 21:03.58 4:13/K
54 Billy Orr Foyle Valley MO 21:05.61 4:13/K
55 Benny Barber Foyle Valley M55 21:07.89 4:13/K
56 Peter Jack Springwell M55 21:18.26 4:16/K
57 Shelagh Murray City of Derry Spartans F45 21:19.99 4:16/K
58 Catriona Gillen Carmen Runners FO 21:38.76 4:20/K
59 Chris Davies MO 21:46.32 4:21/K
60 Alwyn Hunt MO 21:47.05 4:21/K
61 Conor Delap Letterkenny ac MO 21:49.96 4:22/K
62 David McCool MO 21:55.40 4:23/K
63 Sean McIntyre n/A M45 21:58.28 4:24/K
64 Jayne Proctor Eglinton Road Runners F40 22:03.95 4:25/K
65 Brian McLaughlin Foyle Valley M45 22:08.97 4:26/K
66 Jody Mulhern n/A MO 22:15.42 4:27/K
67 Owen Anderson Springwell M45 22:17.16 4:27/K
68 Pauline Mullan Eglinton Road Runners F40 22:21.66 4:28/K
69 John Feeney Triangle tri club MO 22:27.70 4:29/K
70 Nick Wilson Eglinton Road Runners MO 22:36.39 4:31/K
71 Paul Doherty MO 22:58.82 4:36/K
72 Catherine Farren FO 23:04.87 4:37/K
73 Scott Holmes Elmnt Fitness MO 23:06.05 4:37/K
74 Damian Oneill Eglinton Road Runners M50 23:07.14 4:37/K
75 Cheryl McConomy Eglinton Road Runners F35 23:14.99 4:39/K
76 Joanne Brolly Eglinton Road Runners F40 23:29.13 4:42/K
77 Gerry Ward n/A M55 23:42.43 4:44/K
78 Ben Kelly MO 23:43.27 4:45/K
79 Karl Diamond Bellaghy M40 23:45.55 4:45/K
80 Michael Duffy Elmnt Fitness MO 23:49.86 4:46/K
81 Jordan Duffy Elmnt Fitness MO 23:50.12 4:46/K
82 Sarah Farren FO 23:50.40 4:46/K
83 Jarlath Parlour Foyle Valley M55 23:55.59 4:47/K
84 Janeen Leese Foyle Valley FO 23:55.79 4:47/K
85 Gerard Harkin MO 24:02.77 4:48/K
86 Tony Gray n/A M40 24:15.60 4:51/K
87 Corin Gray n/A MJ 24:15.95 4:51/K
88 Derek Powell n/A M50 24:24.77 4:53/K
89 Daniel Kelly n/A MO 24:31.42 4:54/K
90 Jennifer McNeill n/A FO 24:31.57 4:54/K
91 Paul Bradley MO 24:32.51 4:54/K
92 Karl Murphy MO 24:32.63 4:54/K
93 Deigh Reid Eglinton Road Runners F45 24:57.32 4:59/K
94 Francis McAULEY n/A M40 25:08.17 5:02/K
95 Tony Okane n/A M45 25:15.18 5:03/K
96 Jason McKnight MO 25:23.86 5:05/K
97 Lisa Taylor n/A F35 25:32.86 5:06/K
98 Doreen Lairy b-READY running club F45 25:48.30 5:10/K
99 Ingrid Hamilton Springwell F50 25:52.81 5:10/K
100 Linda Parke City of Derry Spartans F50 26:01.12 5:12/K
101 Stephen Mccafferty Foyle Valley M50 26:27.13 5:17/K
102 Carmel Stewart Carmen Runners F35 26:34.69 5:19/K
103 Julie -Anne Rafferty n/A F35 26:35.58 5:19/K
104 Marie Kelly FO 26:36.96 5:19/K
105 Ciara Mcnicholl n/A FO 26:45.03 5:21/K
106 Sonia Jackson n/A FO 27:01.23 5:24/K
107 Lisa McIntyre n/A F45 27:05.52 5:25/K
108 Grainne Clendenning FO 27:12.55 5:26/K
109 Patsy McCLOSKEY n/A F40 27:19.49 5:28/K
110 tHOMAS McCLOSKEY n/A M45 27:19.60 5:28/K
111 Erin Doherty n/A FO 27:26.14 5:29/K
112 Teresa Mulligan Tafelta AC F55 27:30.89 5:30/K
113 Wilma Doherty n/A F40 27:38.72 5:32/K
114 Donna Doherty FO 27:38.89 5:32/K
115 Rory Porteous n/A MO 27:47.39 5:33/K
116 Zelda Brolly Elmnt Fitness FO 27:53.19 5:35/K
117 Tracy McKeever Elmnt Fitness F45 27:53.24 5:35/K
118 Gwen Smyth n/A F50 27:58.12 5:36/K
119 Anna Slevin Err FJ 27:58.46 5:36/K
120 Janice Mc Candless Eglinton Road Runners F40 28:16.34 5:39/K
121 Valerie Spencer Eglinton Road Runners F45 28:21.01 5:40/K
122 Madonna McGinley Eglinton Road Runners F45 28:31.60 5:42/K
123 Mary O’Kane Eglinton Road Runners F40 28:53.73 5:47/K
124 Jim Reid TTC M60 30:00.50 6:00/K
125 Allister Parke n/A M50 30:03.08 6:01/K
126 Nicola McBride F40 30:26.89 6:05/K
127 Shauna Canning Glack FJ 30:28.84 6:06/K
128 Bernie Carey M65+ 30:39.75 6:08/K
129 Emma Peoples n/A FO 30:49.55 6:10/K
130 Anne Hutton Bolt F60 30:51.91 6:10/K
131 Alan McBride n/A MO 30:53.24 6:11/K
132 Lynn Graham Springwell F45 31:20.52 6:16/K
133 Michael Farren M45 31:22.31 6:16/K
134 Avril Dickson n/A F45 31:22.51 6:16/K
135 Julie Bellwood Benone F40 31:29.52 6:18/K
136 Lorraine Sherrard Benone F45 31:30.44 6:18/K
137 Mary Slevin Err F40 32:00.39 6:24/K
138 Abigail Finlay FO 32:03.06 6:25/K
139 Louise Finlay FO 32:03.26 6:25/K
140 Eva Haire Err FJ 32:14.97 6:27/K
141 Jessica McGuinness Elmnt Fitness FO 32:16.38 6:27/K
142 Michelle Haire Err F40 32:21.05 6:28/K
143 Catherine McGowan Springwell F50 32:41.30 6:32/K
144 Sharon Colhoun Glack F45 33:57.37 6:47/K
145 Sharon Canning Glack F45 33:57.37 6:47/K
146 Wendy Alexander FO 35:02.54 7:00/K
147 Eileen Shinnigan Tifelta F55 35:18.97 7:04/K

 

Marina Belle of the Ball at Diva Run

9 September 2017

Marina Murphy edged gently back into competition with an impressive win at the Diva Dash 4 Miles in Carrickmore, Co. Tyrone with 24:24 clocking.

Marina rolls away from the opposition in Diva Dash.

Marina had warmed up with a third place (18:59) finish in the Derry City parkrun the previous week and was to the fore from the gun.  She moved further away as the race progressed.

At the line she  over a minute to spare over Sperrin Harrier Angela O’Neill (25:40) with Lagan Valley’s  Suzanne Higgins completing the top three in 25:58.  Derry Track Club duo Enya Haigney (26:12) and Elaine Connor (26:51) filled positions fourth and fifth respectively.

Diva Dash 2017
1. Marina Murphy  35-44 Derry Track Club 24:24
2. Angela O’Neill  35-44 25:40
3. Suzanne Higgins 35-44 Lagan Valley AC 25:58
4. Enya Haigney -24 Derry Track Club 26:12
5. Elaine Connor 35-44 Derry City Track Club 26:51
6. Cassie Lagan  -24 Omagh Harriers 26:58
7. Morgan Owens -24 Carmen Runners 27:11
8. Olivia Mullin  35-44 Greencastle AC 27:12
9. Sara Broderick -24 Carmen Runners 27:15
10. Leanne Sands  25-34 Acorns AC 27:17

Adam Easy Winner of National Senior Title

12 August 2017

Adam Kirk-Smith

Adam Kirk-Smith became the second Derry Track Club athlete to lift a national senior title when he was the comfortable winner of the 3000m steeplechase at Morton Stadium in Dublin (21 July 2017).

Jason Smyth was the winner of the national 100m crown in 2016 while JP Williamson is reigning national Novice cross country champion.

In the Masters’, Richie Kelly currently holds the M75 indoor 200m/400m titles while outdoor Cathal McLaughlin (M50 – 800m/1500m) and Martin Cox (M35 – 1500m) are the current Irish champions.

Adam Kirk-Smith overcame the challenge of Irish internationals Rory Chesser (subsequently disqualified) and Jayme Rossiter to win in 8:55.72.  It was Adam’s first experience of an Irish championship and he now heads into a well-earned rest before directing his attention to the European Cross Country and Commonwealth Games.

Marina Murphy also wound up this phase of her competition with a win in the Acorns AC Blue Bells 5-Miler in Magherafelt and a runner-up spot in the Owen Roe’s 5K in Glenmornan.

DTC’s promising youngsters Sean McIntyre and Ben Mellon also shone in the Tyrone village with personal bests on a difficult course which, although downhill overall, had difficult descents and ascents.  Certainly not a route you would choose for a personal best but the boys clocked 17:02 and 18:47 respectively.

There were no medals but huge credit for Cathal McLaughlin at the European Masters’ Athletics Championships in Aarhus, Denmark (http://www.emacs2017.com).

Both the 800m and 1500m were tactical affairs with  Cathal just 0.3 seconds off a podium place in the two-lap event and less than a second from the silver medal in the metric mile.

Marty Cox showed he is going to be a force this winter with a 15:30 clocking in the Carlingford 5K.

 

JASON BLOWS AWAY RIVALS TO COMPLETE DOUBLE

18 July 2017

Ice cool Jason Smyth took his second and Ireland’s third gold medal last night at the IPC Para Athletics World Championships in London.  The medal brought the Eglinton man’s World Para Championships personal gold medal tally to seven to go along with his five Paralympic golds.

Jason Smyth in gold medal form.

Smyth was drawn in four giving him an advantage over his main rivals Johannes Nambali and Mateusz Michalski who were in the lanes on his immediate outside. Nambali from Namibia was the defending champion while the Pole Michalski was the relative new kid on the block.

But if there were any doubts about an Irish victory these were quickly dispelled as Smyth blasted out of blocks and had eaten up the stagger on his rivals by the crown of the bend.

The Derry Track Club athlete kept up his phenomenal cadence until well into the homestraight when Nambali and Michalski, in waging war for the silver medal, closed down his advantage approaching the finish line.

Smyth’s winning time of 21.40 was his fastest for the distance since 2013 with Nambali grabbing the runner-up spot in 21.81 while Michalski set a new personal best of 21.86 in the bronze medal position.

It was third time he has done the double at the IPC Worlds starting in Holland back in 2006.  He missed the Worlds in New Zealand in 2011 through injury but recovered to win two medals in Lyon two years later.  He confined himself to just the 100m in Doha two years ago when he had to dash home early to be present at the birth of his daughter.

Smyth’s ability was spotted at Limavady Grammar School by PE teacher Liz Maguire and she referred him to coach Stephen Maguire who now heads up British Athletics Sprints, Hurdles and Relays.

Although now coached by Clarence Callendar, it was the Strabane man who moulded Smyth into the world class performer we now see dominating the Paralympic sprints.  Not that his success in confined to disabled sport, he has also represented Ireland in mainstream athletics, especially memorable being the European Championships in 2010 when he reached the semi-final of the 100 metres.

He competed for Northern Ireland at 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and was only a blink of an eye from qualifying for the 100m at the London Olympics in 2012 when his still personal best clocking of 10.22 seconds was just two-hundredths outside the required standard.

100m Gold for Jason at Para World Champs

16 July 2017

Cometh the hour, cometh the man or in the world of Paralympic athletics, cometh Jason Smyth as the Derry Track Club sprinter served up another scintillating performance at the IPC World Athletics Championships in London.

It brought the Irish medal haul to an impressive two gold and two silver medals for the first weekend of competition.

Jason Smyth in full flight.

First Smyth confirmed his status as the fastest Paralympic sprinter on the planet before McKillop rolled out an exhibition of tactical running to make it an Ulster one-two that took the breath away.

Drawn in lane five, Smyth was fastest out of his blocks in the T13 100m final after a false start by his nearest rival Gustavo Araujo of Brazil.  After that the Derry Track Club athlete just moved further and further ahead as the race progressed.  He crossed the line in 10.63 seconds, his second fastest time of the year and achieved into a slight headwind.

Poland’s Mateus Michalski took advantage of Araujo’s disqualification to snatch the silver medal in 10.95, a mere hundredth of a second ahead of Australia’s Chad Perris.

Michael McKillop made it a second gold for Ireland within a quarter of an hour when he ran a superb tactical race to win the T38 800m.  The Glengormley man waited until the final 200m before hitting the front and going on to win in 2:00.92.

Canada’s Liam Stanley looked as though he was going to take the silver medal before falling 30 metres from the line. Australia’s Deon Kenzie came through to fill the runner-up place ahead of Tunisia’s Abbes Saidi.

It was not all good news from the London stadium yesterday as marathon specialist Patrick Monahan was eliminated from the T54 wheelchair 1500m after finishing ninth in his heat.

Earlier on Saturday morning Niamh McCarthy had opened the Irish medal account with a silver in the F41 discus final.  The Cork woman’s best throw of 26.17m came in the fifth round and meant she improved on the bronze medal she won at the Worlds in Doha two years ago.  The 23-year-old also finished runner-up in the event at last year’s Rio Paralympics.

Orla Barry followed that up with a second silver medal for Ireland when she finished runner-up in the F57 discus with a best throw of 28.89m.  Algeria’s Nassima Saifi struck gold with a throw of 34.05, while Mexico’s Floralia Estrada Bernal filled the third spot on the podium. Barry, 26, was also a silver medallist in Rio.

Grete Streimikyte was unlucky to miss out on a medal in the T13 1500m with a fourth place in a season’s best of 4:47.54 behind Morocco’s Samaa Benhama who broke the electronic beam in 4:40.40.