Published Saturday, 01 September 2012
Gold medallist Jason Smyth poses on the podium after the Men's 100m - T13 Final (© Getty)
Smyth, who runs for team Ireland, is the reigning 100m/200m Paralympic champion and world record holder for both disciplines.
He was dubbed the Usain Bolt of the Paralympics, and on Saturday produced a performance training partner Tyson Gay would have been proud of.
The 25-year-old from Eglinton, who is visually impaired because of Stargardt disease, has trained alongside the joint second fastest man in history in Florida over the last three winters.
He raced away from the rest of the field to take the T13 crown in 10.46 seconds and win gold at the Olympic Stadium.
He beat his own world record in the heats with a time of 10.54 and he took a further .08 off his new record in the final. He has run quicker, but only in non-disabled competition.
"I believe I can run quicker than that again," he said after the race.
Smyth spread his arms wide in celebration as he crossed the line to cheers from the crowd, with a comfortable margin not even Bolt is accustomed to - he won by more than half a second over Cuban Luis Felipe Gutierrez.
To be in that stadium with 80,000 people, half of them seeming like they're Irish cheering, and even the British were really supportive, makes the whole Games a lot better.
The Derry athlete was disappointed when he missed out on Olympic qualification earlier this year.
He was just 0.04secs away from the 'A' standard.
He said: "Coming in as champion, you are under pressure to retain your titles so thankfully I was able to do that.
"It was an added bonus to run quickly and break the world record again.
"I've put in so much hard work. People already had the medal around my neck before I started so you can't really go beyond what's expected.
"It's probably easier to get to the top to start with, but then having to come back and retain your titles is definitely that little bit harder. Now I've got to keep focused for the 200m."
Asked if it made up for his Olympic absence, he said: "It was very disappointing to be so close, I had put in a lot of hard work to try and get there and it would have been fantastic to be here, but there's definitely something sweeter about coming to a major event, succeeding and coming away with the gold medal."
Smyth is one of three Northern Irish athletes to have so far clinched gold at the Paralympics.
Seaford teenager Bethany Firth triumphed in the S14 100m backstroke final on Friday, while Newtownabbey runner Michael McKillop broke his own world record in the 800m final to claim gold on Saturday.
Smyth, Firth and McKillop - along with Wexford swimmer Darragh McDonald - have so far taken four gold medals for Team Ireland.