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Irish Sprinting Legend Jason Smyth Hangs Up His Spikes

29 August 2021; Jason Smyth of Ireland celebrates with the tricolour after winning the T13 Men's 100 metre final at the Olympic Stadium on day five during the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
PJ Browne
By PJ Browne
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Jason Smyth has announced his retirement from athletics following a glittering career.

The 35-year-old Derry man won six gold medals at the Paralympic Games in the T13 100m and 200m, eight golds at the World Championships, six golds at the European Championships and one in the 60m at the World Indoor Championships.

He is also currently the third-fastest Irishman ever over 100m. His 10.22 personal best, set in 2011, ranks him behind Israel Olatune's 10.17 national record and Paul Hession's 10.18.

"I've decided to officially hang up the spikes," said the reigning Paralympic, World and European champion.

"It's been an incredible 18-year journey. I've competed at many Paralympic Games, World Championships, and European Championships. 21 gold medals.

"Probably the thing I'm most proud about is the fact I was able to go unbeaten throughout that time."

'Jason Smyth inspired a whole generation of young Irish people'

Smyth, who has less than 10 per cent vision due to Stargardt’s disease, also participated in non-Para athletic competitions. He is a three-time Irish 100m champion and represented Ireland at the European and World Championships.


jason smyth retirement

27 August 2011; Jason Smyth, Ireland, in action during his Heat of the Men’s 100m event, where he finished in 5th position in a time of 10.57. Also pictured is Keston Bledman, Trinidad & Tabago, who finished in 3rd position in a time of 10.32. IAAF World Championships, Daegu, Korea. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE


Smyth will join the staff of Paralympics Ireland as strategy manager.


"I lived and fulfilled the dream and now I hope to support the next generation of para-athletes on their journey," he said.

Tom Reynolds, performance lead with Athletics NI said: "To remain undefeated across three decades is a unique achievement that must put Jason up there among the all-time greatest sportspeople from Northern Ireland.

"It has been a privilege to be a part of his performance team for the final five years of his career and to witness the performance behaviours and mindset required to achieve at the highest level."


Minister for Sport Catherine Martin said Smyth "has inspired a whole generation of young Irish people".

"To have one of the world’s top athletes come from these shores is an immense achievement and we have been truly privileged to watch him perform at such a high level for well over a decade," she continued.

"The Paralympics have been hugely important, both here and abroad, in promoting the cause of persons with disabilities. He has shown what can be achieved despite adversity.


"He has been an extraordinary advocate for the Paralympic games and sport in general, and for that we should all be grateful."

See Also: Retired British Sprinter 'Excited' To Take Up Role With Athletics Ireland

jason smyth retirement

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