Greta Streimikyte landed Ireland’s first gold of the European Paralympic athletics championships as she stormed home in the 1,500m in Berlin with plenty to spare.
The Swords-based runner took off on the second lap, building a 15-metre gap back to Spain’s Izaskun Oses Ayucar and she powered on from there, eventually finishing a good 40-metres away from her nearest rival in a time of 4.48.54.
The 22-year-old DCU post-graduate student moved to Ireland in 2010 with her family and has been running for the country since getting citizenship in 2015.
The Clonliffe Harriers club woman made her debut in June 2016 when she competed in the IPC Athletics European Championships in Grosseto, Italy. There, she competed in the T13 1,500m final and came home with a bronze medal after a fantastic run.
At the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, she placed third in her heat and advanced to the final where she ran a lifetime best time of 4:45.06 finishing an impressive fourth place; a tremendous achievement.
A student of International Relations in DCU, Greta started her running career thanks to her parents.
Originally from Lithuania, she is a triplet and has a condition called retinopathy brought about by being in a incubator at birth.
Her victory came on a special day for the Irish team on Tuesday as Jason Smyth smashed the championship record as he scorched to victory in the men’s 200m T13 final in 21.44.
And Rio silver-medallist Orla Barry wrapped up an incredible day in the T57 discus, producing six superb throws which were all good enough to have won the gold.
Barry’s longest throw was 28.76 metres – over eight metres further than Martina Willing, who took the silver.
They are part of a 10-strong Irish team for the competition in Berlin which runs until next Sunday with discus thrower Niamh McCarthy, Raheny sprinter Orla Comerford, 200m runner Paul Keoghan in action along with long distance runners David Leavy and Patrick Monahan. High jumper Jordon Lee completed the line-up.