Rio de Janeiro: Jason Smyth was crowned the world’s fastest para-athlete after he won a 100m race involving sprinters from all disability classes.
The Irishman triumphed in 10.73 seconds during the race on Monday, ahead of the US’ Richard Browne and Brazil’s Petrucio Ferreira, Xinhua reported.
The race at Rio’s Rodrigo de Freitas lake was part of a two-day festival marking the one-year milestone until next year’s Paralympic Games.
Smyth, who holds the 100m world record of 10.46 seconds in the T13 class for visually impaired athletes, said the race augured well for next year.
“It was fantastic,” Smyth told Rio2016.com, adding: “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’m sure that Rio is on the right track for next year.”
Cuba’s Omara Durand won the women’s race in 11.74 seconds, ahead of Brazil’s Terezinha Guilhermina and fellow Cuban Yunidis Castillo.
“The time was good but it can always be better, and the aim is to improve for the Rio 2016 Games,” said the visually impaired Durand.
“I’m very honoured to take part in this beautiful event,” Durand added.