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SMYTH Jason
Sport Athletics, Para athletics
NPC Ireland   
GenderMen
Age35
Place of BirthLondonderry, NIR
Height1.79 m
Weight 72 kg
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Type of Impairment
Vision impairment
Classification
T13, F13
Further Personal Information
Family
Wife Elise, daughters Evie [2015] and Lottie [2018]
Occupation
Athlete, Motivational Speaker
Languages
English
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
He took up athletics at age 16 at the Derry Track Club in Northern Ireland.
Why this sport?
He was spotted by a Limavady Grammar School physical education teacher named Liz Maguire, who referred him to athletics coach Stephen Maguire. "It was a school teacher who got me involved in athletics. She said that she thought that I should go to an athletics club, she saw some potential there so I told her I'd go along and see. To be honest, I wasn't too bothered about going, but I didn't really want to say no. I kind of went just to please her and that was the night I met the guy who coached me all the way up to 2012 [Olympic Games in London], Stephen."
Club / Team
Derry Track Club [DTC]: Northern Ireland
Senior International Debut
Year
2006
Competing for
Ireland
Tournament
European Championships
Location
Espoo, FIN
General Interest
Nicknames
The Goldsmyth (paralympic.org, 05 Mar 2020)
Hobbies
Supporting English football team Liverpool. (belfasttelegraph.co.uk, 07 Nov 2016)
Memorable sporting achievement
Competing at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. (bbc.com, 28 Jul 2020; Paralympic Games YouTube channel, 05 Mar 2020)
Most influential person in career
His family. (paralympic.org, 15 Feb 2015)
Hero / Idol
English footballer Steven Gerrard, English physicist Stephen Hawking. (paralympic.org, 15 Feb 2015)
Injuries
He sustained an injury just below one of his knees in 2013. The injury caused him persistent pain and he eventually underwent surgery in 2015. (paralympic.org, 07 Jun 2019)

A back injury meant he withdrew from the 2011 World Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand. (paralympic.org, 27 Jan 2011)

A back injury forced him out of Northern Ireland's team for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India. Doctors told him that he needed at least six weeks to recover, so he withdrew because of the disruption to his preparation. He also had ongoing problems with a stress fracture. (Athlete, 20 Dec 2010; rte.ie, 19 Aug 2010)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Believe in yourself and what you can achieve. I didn't grow in any different circumstance than anybody else, but what I did do was put myself in the best possible environment to succeed. If you believe in yourself there is no limit to where you can actually go." (bbc.com, 28 Jul 2020)
Awards and honours
In 2009 he received an honorary doctorate from Queen's University Belfast in Northern Ireland. (paralympic.org, 05 Mar 2020)
Other sports
He has represented Ireland in able-bodied athletics. He was part of the 4x100m relay team that was ranked 13th at the 2016 European Championships in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (SportsDeskOnline, 07 Jul 2017)
Ambitions
To win a gold medal at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, and to compete at the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris. (insidethegames.biz, 17 Feb 2021; irishmirror.ie, 16 Feb 2021)
Impairment
He was diagnosed with Stargardt disease at age eight. The condition causes progressive vision loss. (Facebook page, 10 Sep 2019; european-athletics.org, 23 Jul 2010)
Other information
OTHER ACTIVITIES
In July 2017 he was named a member of the International Paralympic Committee [IPC] athletes advisory group for Para athletics. In January 2018 he was also named a member of Paralympics Ireland's athletes' commission. (paralympics.ie, 29 Jan 2018; paralympic.org, 28 Jul 2017)

CLASSIFICATION CHANGE
His classification was changed from T13 to T12 at the 2014 European Championships in Swansea, Wales. In October 2015 his classification was switched back to the T13 class ahead of the 2015 World Championships in Doha, Qatar. "It was a surprise to me that I had been moved to a T12 and was difficult to deal with, so I'm pleased that my status as a T13 has been clarified." (paralympics.ie, 21 Oct 2015)

Competition Highlights (historical)
Paralympic Games - Para athletics
Rank Year Event Result
1 2008 100m T13 10.62
1 2008 200m T13 21.43
1 2012 100m T13 10.46
1 2012 200m T13 21.05
1 2016 100m T13 10.64
1 2021 100m T13 10.53
World Championships - Para athletics
Rank Year Event Result
1 2006 100m T13 10.86
1 2006 200m T13 22.83
1 2013 200m T13 21.05
1 2013 100m T13 10.61
1 2015 100m T13 10.62
1 2017 100m T13 10.63
1 2017 200m T13 21.40
1 2019 100m T13 10.54
European Championships - Para athletics
Rank Year Event Result
1 2014 100m T12 10.78
1 2014 200m T12 21.67
1 2018 200m T13 21.44
1 2018 100m T13 10.66