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Dublin: -1°C Saturday 23 January 2021
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Easy as you like! Jason Smyth's bid for a fifth Paralympic gold got off to a flier tonight

The fastest Paralympian on the planet eased into Friday’s final.

– Ryan Bailey reports from Rio de Janeiro

IT WAS NEVER in any doubt, in the end just a mere formality.

Jason Smyth’s quest to win a fifth Paralympic gold and defend his T13 100m title for the second time got off to a flier this evening as he breezed into tomorrow’s final.

Jason Smyth wins his heat Source: Dan Behr

The 29-year-old won his heat with such control and conviction that he was able to pull up before crossing the line in a time of 10.76. Inevitably, he was the fastest qualifier from the two heats.

Smyth will bid to maintain his record of never been beaten in the Games at 3.09pm Irish time on Friday and in the process become one of Ireland’s most decorated athletes.

“It felt smooth,” he said afterwards. “It is about getting through the heat, with as little effort as possible because Friday is where it is at.

“I am happy getting through. I am going back to get some food, rest up and then come back on Friday and kick it up another notch.

Rio 2016 Paralympic Games - Day 1 Source: Diarmuid Greene/SPORTSFILE

“There are some things to work on in terms of the performance. The 100 metres is all about the first half of the race. That’s where you can do the biggest damage and it is very hard to catch back up. The only thing you can control is you (in relations to rivals) and that’s where my focus will be.”

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About the author:

Ryan Bailey

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