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Dublin: 4 °C Friday 17 January, 2020
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Record breaker! Greta Streimikyte storms into Paralympic final with superb run

The DCU student was the first Irish athlete in action at the Olympic Stadium.

The visually-impaired athlete will race for a medal on Saturday.
The visually-impaired athlete will race for a medal on Saturday.
Image: PA Wire/Press Association Images

– Ryan Bailey reports from Rio de Janeiro 

GRETA STREIMIKYTE DEMONSTRATED why she is considered as one of the Ireland’s emerging stars at this Games as she smashed a national record at the Olympic Stadium in Rio.

The long-distance runner, born in Lithuania but living in Dublin for five years, produced a masterful performance to book her place in Saturday’s T13 1500m final.

Streimikyte crossed the line in third in her heat in a time of 4:51.75 to qualify as one of the fastest losers.

“That was my goal and now it’s my goal for Saturday to maybe try and get a medal,” she said. “The most important thing is now recovery and to recover properly now. Wait and see how I feel tomorrow and we’ll see how it goes, you never know.”

The 21-year-old has stormed onto the scene since her international debut earlier this year and now she’ll represent her adopted country in a Paralympic final at her first Games.

Only last December did she officially become an Irish citizen but Streimikyte wasted little time in catapulting herself into the top two in the world in the T13 classification by shaving six seconds off her PB in Santry in May.

“I was really nervous last night when I got the start list and my heart was exploding, Jesus Christ this is happening,” she added. “But I woke up this morning and the team are amazing and wishing me good luck and telling me I can do this, I can do this.”

She certainly can.

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The Paralympic Games takes place between 7 and 18 September. Follow The42′s coverage from Rio here.

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Ryan Bailey

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