Smyth reaches semi-finals

EGLINTON sprinter Jason Smyth has qualified for the 100 metres semi-finals at the European Athletics Championships in Barcelona.

The visually-impaired 23-year-old, the first Paralympian to compete in the championships, finished fourth in his heat on tonight (Tuesday).

The double gold-winning Paralympian's time of 10.43 seconds left him 14th fastest of the 16 qualifiers and his coach Stephen Maguire believes the sprinter can go and enjoy himself in tomorrow (Wednesday) evening's semi-final, which gets underway at around 7.50pm.

"Jason is obviously delighted to have qualified and because he has done that now, I feel he can go and enjoy tomorrow night's semi-final," admitted Maguire.

"He set himself a gold, like every other athlete and now that he has achieved that, he can relax and you never know what might happen.

"We are not worried about times now, it's a case of looking to catch the man in front of you situation.

"At the end of the day he is competiting against the top 100 metres athletes not just in Europe but the World, and this is where he wants to be."