Incredible photo finish sees Jason Smyth win Paralympics gold in 100-metres
What a nail-biter!
Even when the race was run, it took a while to confirm Jason Smyth was once again the 100-metres Paralympics champion, in the T-13 class, for a fourth consecutive time.
The 34-year-old, who won Paralympic gold in 2008, 2012 and 2016, was pushed all the way but kept gunning until the finish line and timed his dip to perfection.
The Derry native started like a bullet but Algerian flyer Skander Djamil Athmani was gradually catching him as the race progressed.
Just as it looked like Smyth would be pipped on the line, the reigning champion found an inner resolve and that late burst saw him clinch gold in a photo finish.
It took about 30 seconds as officials studied the still images but Smyth's fourth straight 100m gold, and his sixth Paralympics gold, was confirmed and the celebrating could begin.
🥇 Jason Smyth has won his sixth gold medal after a dramatic photo finish in the T13 100m final #rtesport #paralympics #paraathletics
📱 Live updates - https://t.co/yvJaZMisVD…
📺Watch live - https://t.co/3fIvL3Jwwv pic.twitter.com/loDXV7N6Ka
— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) August 29, 2021
"I'm delighted," he told RTE. "It was obviously a very close race... when I reflect back on this year, I've probably had the toughest year I've had, in terms of injuries. Nine months ago I was wondering if I was done."
Earlier in the day, Smyth had cruised into the final after winning the second heat with a time of 10.74, even as he cantered that final 10 metres.
"It's been a tough year and a half for everybody not just for sport," Smyth told reporters after that win. "I tend not to get too caught into that, it's about over coming challenges that sit in front of you."