When Jaryd Clifford made his Paralympic debut as a fresh-faced 17-year-old at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, no one could have predicted that he would be the man to beat at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

There is no denying that Jaryd raced well in Rio – he placed seventh in the men’s 1500m T13 and men’s 5000m T13, with one of his races attracting worldwide attention for being faster than its Olympic equivalent – but his improvement since then has been astronomical.

Jaryd won a bronze medal in the men’s 1500m T13 at the 2017 World Para-athletics Championships, became the first Paralympian to compete at the able-bodied U20 World Championships in 2018, and was crowned a dual world champion and world record holder in the men’s 1500m T13 at the 2019 World Para-athletics Championships last November. So, what changed?

One month prior to the 2017 World Championships, Jaryd began …

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Date of birth
5 July 1999
Past Paralympic Games

Rio 2016, Tokyo 2020

Vision Impairment – Best disease
How acquired
Greensborough, VIC
Student, writer
Started competing
First competed for Australia
Sport career highlights

Breaking the men’s 1500m T12 world record at the 2018 Sydney Grand Prix to qualify for the 2018 IAAF U20 World Championships

Greatest sporting moments

Setting a men’s 1500m T12 world record at the 2018 Sydney Grand Prix in the same race as his training partner Michael Roeger, who set a world record in the men’s 1500m T46

Heroes/role models

Kurt Fearnley, Peekay from Bryce Courtenay’s novel The Power of One

Favourite quote
"The power of one is, above all things, the power to believe in yourself" - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One


  • Sport: Para-athletics Discipline: 1500m Classification: T12
  • Sport: Para-athletics Discipline: 5000m Classification: T12

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