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CLIFFORD Jaryd
Sport Athletics, Para athletics
NPC Australia   
GenderMen
Age20
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Type of Impairment
Vision impairment
Classification
T12, F12
Further Personal Information
Residence
Melbourne, VIC, AUS
Occupation
Athlete
Languages
English
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
He took up athletics at a Paralympic talent search in 2012.
Why this sport?
He loved sports as a child and planned to play in the Australian Football League. As his vision worsened he decided to stick with a part of the sport, which was running. "I remember I was just in the schoolyard, kicking the ball around, and [I'd] miss a pass or something simple like that and get frustrated. I decided running could be a sport where I didn't have to focus on a ball. It's cliche, but I generally feel free when I run."
Club / Team
Diamond Valley Athletic Club: Melbourne, VIC, AUS
Name of coach
Philo Saunders [personal]
Senior International Debut
Year
2015
Competing for
Australia
Tournament
Grand Prix
Location
Brisbane, QLD, AUS
General Interest
Nicknames
JC (vis.org.au, 01 Jan 2018)
Hobbies
Travelling, blogging. (abc.net.au, 04 Sep 2016; athletics.com.au, 2017)
Hero / Idol
Australian wheelchair racer Kurt Fearnley. (athletics.com.au, 2017)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"It's not how much you can't see, it's how much you do with the sight you have and the other senses you have." (insightvision.org.au, 25 Jun 2013)
Other sports
He also competes in able-bodied athletics, and took part in the 2018 World U20 Championships in Tampere, Finland. (iaaf.org, 10 Jul 2018)
Ambitions
To win gold at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (abc.net.au, 30 Jul 2019)
Impairment
He began to lose his eyesight progressively during primary school due to juvenile macular degeneration. He was classified as legally blind at age 12. (abc.net.au, 04 Sep 2016; insightvision.org.au, 25 Jun 2013)
Other information
TOKYO STRATEGY
He has planned to win gold medals in both the 1500m and 5000m races at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. However he says that the longer the race, the worse his vision deteriorates as fatigue takes hold. "In a pack situation, it's a lot easier for me to become disorientated and panic and under the stresses of fatigue. I adapt so many strategies to work out how to race. I did my first guided 5000m on the track before [the 2018 World U20 Championships in Tampere, Finland] and when I do that, I don't have to worry about running into things, I don't have to stress about things most runners take for granted. It's definitely the future for me so then I can rest my eyes and I don't get the extra fatigue." (abc.net.au, 30 Jul 2019; iaaf.org, 10 Jul 2018)

ABLE-BODIED COMPETITION
He competed in able-bodied 1500m race at the 2018 World U20 Championships in Tampere, Finland. "I just live life by the day. If my vision gets worse in the future, so be it, but I'm a runner so I'm going to put myself in every race I can physically do. When I'm on the start line, yeah I'm a Paralympian, but at the end of the day we're all runners and I was fighting as hard as everyone." He met New Zealander able-bodied runner Samuel Tanner at the championships who raced against him but also assisted him to navigate safe passage on the track. "It's bloody scary but if you're scared of falling over, then you're never going to get the best out of yourself. You've really just got to go hard at it and try and survive. I got through it without falling and I'm stoked about that. Tanner was such a great help." (iaaf.org, 10 Jul 2018)

WRITER
He writes articles on athletics for the Runner's Tribe website. "I just love meeting people and love getting their stories out there. I don't think I could just run and that was it." (Little Athletics Victoria YouTube channel, 10 Jun 2019; runnerstribe.com, 31 May 2019)

Competition Highlights (historical)
Paralympic Games - Para athletics
Rank Year Event Result
7 2016 1500m T13 3:56.67
7 2016 5000m T13 15:06.64
World Championships - Para athletics
Rank Year Event Result
7 2015 5000m T13 15:55.02
3 2017 1500m T13 3:53.31
1 2019 1500m T13 3:47.78
1 2019 5000m T13 14:40.40