Sport Athletics Jaryd Clifford claims 5000m Paralympics silver medal in Tokyo

Jaryd Clifford claims 5000m Paralympics silver medal in Tokyo

Jaryd Clifford
Jaryd Clifford has won the silver medal in the 5000m at the Paralympic Games. Photo: AAP
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An emotional Jaryd Clifford has dedicated his Paralympic silver medal to his late grandfather, who had bought a ticket to watch him run in Tokyo.

The 22-year-old broke down in tears after being treated trackside following his gallant efforts in the men’s 5000m T13 race.

He knocked into other athletes after crossing the line before vomiting, with Australian medical staff checking his welfare.

Clifford, who has a visual impairment, said his grandfather had hoped to watch him race in Tokyo.

“To my Pa, he had tickets to the race today but he didn’t make it, he passed away a few months ago,” Clifford told Channel Seven.

“Today and the next few days I’m running for him, I know he’d be proud of me, whatever the result.”

Clifford, the reigning world champion, made a move early in the final 400 metres but then couldn’t keep pace with Spaniard Yassine Ouhdadi El Ataby, who clocked 14 minutes 34.13 seconds in a personal best time.

Clifford was 1.39 seconds behind to claim his first Paralympics medal after also competing in Rio with a guide runner.

“It wasn’t good enough (or) what I wanted today but I gave it everything and I’m pretty cooked and pretty emotional,” he said.

“That’s a testament to where Para sport is, no medal is a guarantee ever and I knew that.

“This medal means the world to me still.”

The Victorian is also competing in the 1500 metres, in which he holds the world record, and the marathon.

“We’ll reset and be good to go in 1500,” he said.

“It will be a tough field and a tough race but I’ll be ready to go.”

Fellow Australian Madison de Rozario finished fifth in the women’s T53/54 5000m, won by American Susannah Scaroni.

De Rozario, who won silver in the 800m in Rio, wasn’t happy with her race.

“I made a lot of mistakes in that race,” said the 27-year-old West Australian.

“I think tactically it was one of my worst executed races that I’ve done in the last few years so it’s nice to get that out of the way.”