Thursday, June 13, 2024

Paris Paralympic dream nears with Brimelow’s ranking rise

Katie Kelly OAM PLY


The goal for Grace Brimelow and her team has been to compete at the Los Angeles 2028 Paralympic Games. But, after a stellar year, the up-and-coming Para-triathlete could be heading to Paris.  

Brimelow picked up vital points with a first placing in the PTS4 category at the 2024 World Triathlon Para Cup Vigo in Spain last weekend, lifting her to 10th on the World Triathlon Para rankings. Crucially, it lifted her to third on the Paralympic Games rankings, which span the Games qualification period.  

“To get to the Paralympics would mean the world, it would be really good to go to Paris when I’m 17 and just experience it,” Brimelow said.

Brimelow is also making waves in swimming, winning gold at last year’s 2023 Australian Age Championships.

She became involved in triathlon after her PE teacher Maureen Cummings, a former national triathlete, saw her talent in running and swimming and encouraged her to give it a go.

“One day a teacher came up to me and was like ‘Oh, you’re a really good runner and you’re a really good swimmer’,” she said.  

“So they asked if I heard of aquathlon and I started that and it just went from aquathlon to triathlon.

“I like the swimming the most, but I’m good at the running and the cycling.”

Sunshine Coast Grammar swimming coach Charlie Barry has no doubt Brimelow has what it takes to succeed on the world stage, either in triathlon or in the pool.

“She’s a great swimmer so that helps,” he said.  

“Her triathlon coach Toby and I are in constant contact about when we have to rest for a pool event or have to rest for a triathlon event.
“We work together so it makes it a lot easier to manage both.”

The Paralympic qualification period draws to a close on July 1, with just a few more opportunities to bolster ranking points.  

For most classifications the world’s top nine athletes in the rankings can clinch quota spots for their nations, with Australian athletes having the opportunity to secure automatic nominations by ranking within the top five. 

To view the World Triathlon Paralympic Games Qualification Rankings, click here.
To view the 2024 Paris Paralympic Games Nomination Criteria, click here.


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