Jason disappointed in Florida

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Local sprint star Jason Smyth (above) was in action in Orlando, Florida over the weekend and clocked 10.34s and 10.35s in his two 100m races there.

He is of course still chasing an A standard Olympic qualifying time in the short sprint and was somewhat disappointed not to have improved on his 10.24s clocking a week earlier in Clermont, Florida.

The Olympic qualifying time is 10.18s and the Eglinton Flyer will have another go this weekend back in Clermont before moving on to New York and a run at the prestigious Diamond League meeting in the Big Apple.

His 10.24s is a B standard qualifying time for London and also a European A standard but the local man would dearly love to make the A grade and thus achieve entry to both the Olympics and the Paralympics this summer.

He is of course the reigning Paralympic 100m/200m champion and world record holder and is literally only a stride or two away from mixing it with the likes of Usain Bolt in London in a few months time.

A mention of a new Irish Junior 800m record set at the weekend in Belguim by Letterkenny athlete Mark English who shattered his own figures of 1m 47.09s when he produced a brilliant 1m 45.77s effort. A marvellous performance indeed and one which shoots him up to fourth in the Irish all time 800m rankings and close to the Olympic A qualifying standard for the distance.

It will be interesting to see if he turns out in next Monday’s NI/Ulster senior championships in Antrim to boost the North West challenge for medals. He would certainly be a major attraction.