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Page last updated at 19:09 GMT, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 20:09 UK

Paralympics sprinter Jason Smyth makes Euro semi-finals

Jason Smyth qualified for the European Championships 100m semi-finals

Smyth qualifies for 100m semi-finals

Londonderry sprinter Jason Smyth has qualified for the 100 metres semi-finals at the European Athletics Championships in Barcelona.

The visually-impaired 23-year-old from Eglinton, the first Paralympian to compete in the championships, finished fourth in his heat on Tuesday night.

His time of 10.43 seconds left him 14th fastest of the 16 qualifiers.

Earlier, Ireland just missed out on a medal when Robert Heffernan finished fourth in the 20k walk.

The 32-year-old from Cork time was one hour and 21 minutes exactly, just 11 seconds behind bronze medallist Joao Vieira of Portugal.

Smyth, however, was pleased with his fourth in the 100 heats.

"Coming here, qualifying for the semi-finals was what I wanted to do," said the double gold-winning Paralympian.

"It was not a surprise to get through.

"But thinking about something is different from actually going out and doing it, so I am glad it went well and I did qualify."

A place in the final would appear to be beyond Smyth but he has not given up hope.

"I will just go out there and perform as well as I can," he added.

"I need to step up a level. It is an outside chance, but at least I am there."

see also
Smyth comes through French test
20 Jul 10 |  Athletics
Smyth and Foster in Ireland team
12 Jul 10 |  Athletics
Smyth taking hype in his stride
08 Jul 10 |  Athletics


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