Smyth, Durand crowned world’s fastest para-athletes

Men, women’s 100m challenges bring together fastest sprinters in different impairment categories as part of one year to Rio 2016 celebrations 08 Sep 2015
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Ireland’s Jason Smyth, the fastest para-athlete on the planet.

Ireland’s Jason Smyth, the fastest para-athlete on the planet.

ⒸAlex Ferro/Rio 2016
By Rio 2016

“I am very pleased with the result and even more so because so many people came to watch. The event was very well organised and I am sure that Rio is on the right track for next year.”

Ireland’s Jason Smyth confirmed his status as the fastest para-athlete on the planet by winning an unprecedented 100m challenge that pitted the best sprinters from different impairment classifications against each other on Monday (7 September).

The double Paralympic and world champion – whose T13 world record of 10.46 seconds is the quickest Paralympic mark across all categories – triumphed in 10.73 in the event that was part of the one year until the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games celebrations.

The event alongside Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, the venue for rowing and canoe at the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, also featured a women’s competition, which was won by the pre-race favourite. Cuba’s Omara Durand – who became the fastest female para-athlete by clocking a world-record 100m T13 time of 11.65 during August’s Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games – won in 11.74 on Monday afternoon.

Smyth, dubbed the “Usain Bolt of the Paralympic Games” in Brazilian media this week finished ahead of the USA’s world and Paralympic T44 silver medallist Richard Browne,, who clocked 10.87.

Brazil’s Petrucio Ferreira,200m T47 world record holder, crossed the line 0.01 seconds behind Browne but collapsed to the ground after the race, feeling pain in his leg and was taken to hospital for tests.

Australia’s Evan O’Hanlon, five-time Paralympic champion and world record holder in the T38 class, finished fourth in 11.09.

“It was fantastic,” Smyth said. “I am very pleased with the result and even more so because so many people came to watch. The event was very well organised and I am sure that Rio is on the right track for next year.”

Durand finished ahead of Brazil’s multiple Paralympic and world T11 champion Terezinha Guilhermina, who finished in 12.24. Cuban T46/47 world record holder Yunidis Castillo came home in 12.48.

“The time was good but it can always be better, and the aim is this: to improve for the Rio 2016 Games,” Durand said. “I am very honoured to take part in this beautiful event.”

There was also a men’s B-final to define the best sprinter in the T11. The USA’s world-record holder David Brown took that title in 11.12, ahead of Brazil’s Felipe Gomes, who finished 43 hundredths of a second behind.

The races were part of a Paralympic Festival celebrating the one year to go milestone. Tickets for Rio 2016 Paralympic Games are now on sale to residents of Brazil. Overseas fans, meanwhile, should contact the authorised ticket resellers (ATRs) in their territories.