Jason faces injury concerns in Lyon

Picture credit: Brian Lawless / SPORTSFILE
Picture credit: Brian Lawless / SPORTSFILE

JASON SMYTH is confident of a repeat of his 2006 IPC Athletics World Championship heroics when he competes at this year’s high profile event tomorrow.

The Eglinton sprinter claimed double gold in the 100m and 200m events in Assen seven years ago but missed out on the 2011 championships in Christchurch due to a back injury.

Going into this year’s Championships on the back of two gold medals at the London Paralympics, Smyth will be expected to ease his way into the finals of both the 100m and 200m events.

However, the world’s fastest paralympian was forced to pull out of Wednesday night’s 100m final in the Morton Games in Dublin as a precaution after winning his 100m heat in 10.61s.

It’s understood Smyth strained his hamstring and lower back in the heat but he will face round-the-clock treatment in order to be fit to race according to Head of Paralympic Athletics, James Nolan.

“He didn’t want to risk jeopardising the World Championships” said Nolan. “He will be getting treatment twice a day every day, he’ll be high priority.

“We’ll do the best we can to get him in shape. He’s a clever guy. He knows what’s required and he was clever to pull out of the final.”

The likelihood is that Smyth will line up for tomorrow afternoon’s T13 200m semi-final and the Co. Derry man is confident he can produce the goods.

“Without a doubt, you’re going in again expecting to win” says Smyth.

“That’s what people’s expectations are of you and there is a lot of pressure that comes with that.

“But I feel like I have been around long enough and competed in enough major championships that I know what I’m dealing with and know how to deal with it.

“I want to reach my potential, plain and simple. I believe I can run quicker than I have and my goal is to ultimately finish my career and realise I couldn’t have done much more.”

Jason will compete in the T13 200m semi-final tomorrow at 3.11 p.m. with the 200m final scheduled for Sunday at 4.23 p.m. The Derry man will then compete in the 100m semi-final next Wednesday with the final scheduled for the following day at 6.17 p.m.