Jaryd Clifford won double gold in the visually-impaired 1500m & 5000m at the World Para Athletics Championships in 2019. This affirmed his position as the one to beat at the Tokyo Paralympic Games. Previously, Clifford had shaved three seconds from the 1500m world record (3:45.18) and he has also recorded the fastest guided 5000m in history (with guides Tim Logan & Philo Saunders) in a time of 14:05.40. In 2018, Clifford became the first para-athlete to qualify for the IAAF (able-bodied) World Juniors and the first Australian para-athlete to win an Australian junior title in an able-bodied race. His sights are firmly set on winning double gold in Tokyo, and if this is not possible, then in Paris 2024.
Clifford explains his experience as a Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship Holder:
“It’s an honour to read the names of those who have come before me and remember how far they have come since their youth.”
“I am honoured to receive the SAHOF Scholarship for it is a recognition of my potential to one day etch my own name alongside the sporting heroes of our nation. It is also an honour to read the names of those who have come before me and remember how far they have come since their own youth. To then be granted one-on-one access with one of those heroes, the great Lauren Burns, is an opportunity that will hopefully see me grown as an athlete but also as a person in life.”
One year later:
“In 2019, I became a world champion. In 2020, my entire life’s work feels frustratingly wasted. My handling of the pressure and euphoria of last year and then the heartbreak of this year was guided by my experiences as a SAHOF scholarship holder. My mentor Lauren Burns has played an instrumental role over the last 18 months of my career. She is someone I admire greatly, and her wisdom will remain with me for the rest of my career. Most importantly, we remain in contact and she is very much a part of my team on the road to Tokyo.”
“Jaryd is a talented and passionate athlete and I am absolutely thrilled to be working with him. I am looking forward to assisting him in any way I can towards his journey to the Paralympic Games in Tokyo.” Said Clifford’s Mentor, Lauren Burns
Paralympics Australia’s Chief Executive Officer, Lynne Anderson speaks about Jaryd’s opportunity:
“Jaryd Clifford is one Para-athlete who has had a meteoric rise since his Paralympic debut in Rio 2016. He’s excelled on the track, winning bronze at the 2017 Para-athletics World Championships, while also creating a name for himself as a budding writer. He’s on the path to winning gold, and with two years to go until the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, we’re incredibly excited to see him strive to reach all of his personal goals with the mentorship of Australian taekwondo Olympic champion Lauren Burns.
“We’d like to congratulate Jaryd on winning this year’s scholarship, and we’d also like to thank SAHOF for recognising his talent and his contribution to the Paralympic movement in Australia.” October 2018.
Athletics Australia’s Chief Executive Officer, Darren Gocher said; “It is fantastic that Jaryd has been selected for the Scholarship. He is an incredible athlete that has had an amazing season. Athletics Australia is beyond proud of Jaryd’s hard work and dedication, we are looking forward to seeing what Jaryd can achieve in the future.” October 2018.
Awards, Honours & Achievements
- 2019: World Para Athletics Championships – Double World Champion (1500m & 5000m)
- 2019: Fastest guided 5000m in history (14:05.40)
- 2018: IAAF Able-Bodied World Juniors – First para-athlete to qualify
- 2018: Vision Impaired 1500m World Record (3:45.18)
- 2016: Rio Paralympic Games – Paralympian
Last updated 22/07/2020