Rio 2016: Jason Smyth clinches fifth gold medal of Paralympics career

Jason Smyth celebrates after winning a third successive T13 100m title
Jason Smyth finished ahead of Namibia's Johannes Nambala (right) in the T13 100m final
Rio Paralympic Games
Venue: Rio de Janeiro Dates: 7-18 September Time in Rio: BST -4
Coverage: Live updates, video clips, medal table, results and news alerts, catch-up service, plus commentary on BBC Radio 5 live. Television coverage on Channel 4.

Irish sprint star Jason Smyth clinched his fifth Paralympic gold medal as he won a third straight T13 100m title in Rio.

The Northern Irishman clocked 10.64 seconds as he finished 0.14 ahead of Namibia's Johannes Nambala.

Ireland athlete Smyth's gold came after the triumph by another Northern Irish competitor Bethany Firth who won a swimming gold for Britain on Thursday.

Eglinton man Smyth, 29, went into the 100m as a strong favourite.

However just as was the case in his heat, the world's fastest Paralympian had to work hard to hold off Namibian Nambala, who produced another personal best, with Australia's Chad Perris taking bronze in 10.83.

Visually-impaired Smyth earned doubles in Beijing and London but that will not be possible in Rio after the International Paralympic Committee opted to remove the T13 200m from the athletics programme.

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Rio 2016 Paralympics: Jason Smyth says continuing success 'like a fairytale'

Smyth says continuing success 'like a fairytale'

The Team Ireland athlete's winning time on Friday was 0.18 seconds outside the T13 world record he set when winning in London four years ago but he was still delighted with his latest triumph.

"It's been incredible," added the County Londonderry man.

"It's my third consecutive Paralympic Games and fifth gold medal. To be honest, it's a little bit like a fairytale.

"I keep wondering when this fairytale is going to end but thankfully it doesn't."

Smyth has been unbeaten throughout his Paralympic career which began when he achieved a double at the 2005 IPC European Championships in Finland.

The Irish athlete qualified for Friday's final by winning his heat in 10.76 seconds on Thursday as he finished 0.05 ahead of Nambala.

The 29-year-old Northern Irishman has gone as fast as 10.22 in able-bodied competition and showed good form earlier this summer when he came home in 10.39 in Florida.

As an eight year old, the world's fastest Paralympian was diagnosed with the genetic condition, Stargardt's Disease, which has left him with less than 10% of normal vision.

Later on Friday, Ireland clinched a second medal of the Games as Galway cyclist Eoghan Clifford clinched a bronze in the C3 individual pursuit.

Clifford, 36, finished more than a second ahead of Canadian Michael Sametz in the bronze-medal race off.

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Jason Smyth's family celebrate at their Eglinton home

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