Smyth sets sights on double glory in Rio

Rio De Janeiro, Sep 2 (IANS) Paralympic champion Jason Smyth said he is thinking about returning from next year’s Rio 2016 Olympics with another two gold medals around his neck, the media reported.

The 28-year-old will aim to repeat his feat in London three years ago of winning the 100m and 200m sprints at the first Olympics to be held in South America, Xinhua reported.

“It’s definitely my target, so let’s hope good things happen here in Rio,” Smyth told Rio2016.com.

The Irishman will get his first taste of competition in the Olympic city on Sunday when he competes in a 100m challenge at the Rodrigo de Freitas lake.

The event, part of a festival to celebrate the one-year countdown to the Games, will include sprinters from all Paralympic classes.

“It’s a great idea and the moment I heard about it I thought, ‘this is a unique opportunity’,” said Smyth.

“I’ve been competing in Paralympic sports for 10 years and not once have I had the chance to race against people with different disabilities. It’s all about getting people from all different backgrounds together in a celebration of what Paralympic sports is about.”

Smyth suffers from a degenerative eye condition that limits his vision to the outlines of shapes. Last year he was reclassified to T12 from T13, reflecting a higher level of impairment.

Currently on his first visit to Rio, Smyth did not hide his enthusiasm at the prospect of representing his country at sport’s highest level next year.

“It’s so exciting to be only one year away, we’re getting close,” he said. “It’s going to be an incredible Games here in Rio.

“I’ve only been here two days and I love the city already. The weather, for winter, is incredible. I’ve never been anywhere that is so naturally beautiful and the people have been very friendly, so I think Brazil is going to do a very good job of hosting the Games.”

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