Jason Smyth questions his lack of involvement in a "Lap of Legends" event at Windsor Park

Two Northern Ireland Paralympians who represented Great Britain took part in the event

BY Daniel Kelly 14:42 Monday 10 October 2016, 14:42 10 Oct 2016

Paralympics gold medalist Jason Smyth with his wife and daughter Elise and Evie. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

Jason Smyth won his fifth Paralympic gold medal, last month in Brazil.

The Derry native is the fastest Paralympian in history and has ran a personal best of 10.46 seconds. He is also a three-time World champion and has won two gold medals in the European Championships.

On Saturday night, ahead of Northern Ireland's game with San Marino, a "Lap of Legends" took place around Windsor Park, to mark the full redevelopment of the Belfast stadium.

Sports stars from many codes were introduced to the crowd before the game, including Paralympians Bethany Firth and Kelly Gallagher. Both stars have won gold medals at Rio 2016 and Sochi 2014 respectively, representing Great Britain.

Smyth took to Twitter, to voice his displeasure at the fact the he and four-time gold medalist Michael McKillop were not invited to the event.

"There were lots of top people there from Northern Ireland and lots of people who weren't there", McKillop told the Belfast Telegraph.

"But I was looking at it from the perspective of Paralympics, and we have four Paralympic athletes who have done very well over the last number of years - myself, Kelly, Bethany and Michael McKillop."

"My question was just trying to figure out how come two of us were there and two of us weren't. We are all from Northern Ireland and we've all achieved a lot of success."

A spokesman for the Irish FA confirmed that only a limited number were invited to take part in the event, due to a short window for the lap to take place in before Northern Ireland's eventual 4-0 win.

"We did not intend to cause any offence to Jason or anyone else who was not part of the pre-match event. The Irish FA would be delighted to welcome Jason to the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park in the future."

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