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White Tiger out to unseat 'Bolt of Paras'

AAP logoAAP 9/09/2016 Lucy Hughes Jones

The White Tiger is hunting an Irishman.

Visually impaired Australian sprinter Chad Perris is gunning to unseat reigning Paralympic champion Jason Smyth from Derry in the T13 100m final.

The 24-year-old debutant has albinism and is affectionately known as 'The White Tiger' among his green and gold teammates. He earned the tag playing football in his home town of Perth, a nickname he now embraces.

Perris qualified third fastest for Friday's final, nabbing an Oceania record behind the legally blind Smyth who breezed to first.

Dubbed the Usain Bolt of the Paralympics, Smyth is chasing a hat-trick of titles in the sprint, having won gold in Beijing 2008 and London 2012.

"He's an absolute legend of our sport and it's just awesome to share a track with him," Perris said.

"He's a really good guy. We have a good relationship whenever I see him."

Regardless of the camaraderie off the track, Perris is focused on toppling Smyth.

"Absolutely. I wouldn't be here if I wasn't," Perris said.

After winning silver in the 200m T13 and bronze in the 100m T13 at last year's Doha International Paralympic Committee Athletics world championships, the rookie is feeling confident.

"I'm a chance of doing another personal best. It was one out here tonight," Perris said.

"Tomorrow if I can do that I'll be happy and if a medal comes with that it'll be a bonus."

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