Running blind with clear vision of the future

Image of Jaryd Clifford - Paralympic runner who is outrunning able-bodied rivals

Paralympic runner Jaryd Clifford is outrunning able-bodied rivals


Melbourne born legally blind Paralympic record-holder Jaryd Clifford is able to run the 1500m in under four minutes.


At the age of three, Clifford was diagnosed with juvenile macular degeneration — a rare disorder that can’t be treated.


“It affects my central vision, which means I have trouble picking up facial features, and perception of detail,” he said.


“In a race situation, I can only see the outline, I suppose, of the person in front of me. And that’s about it.”


Clifford now runs the 1,500m in just 3 minutes and 47 seconds — it is a T12 world record and puts him in the top 10 of able-bodied runners in Australia.


In 2018 he won the national under-20 able-bodied titles, and his improvement has him dreaming of winning gold at the Tokyo Paralympics in 2020.