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Sport Para swimming
NPC Australia   
Place of BirthBaghdad, IRQ
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Type of Impairment
Limb deficiency
Origin of Impairment
S4, SB3, SM3
Further Personal Information
Canberra, ACT, AUS
Higher education
Journalism - La Trobe University: Melbourne, VIC, AUS
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
He began swimming in 2007.
Why this sport?
He gave up his first passion, Australian rules football, in order to pursue swimming. As he grew older the demands of Aussie rules meant he would struggle to compete. "[My passion for Australian rules football] took me to a certain level before it started getting rough and the sport was becoming really fast. Mentally, I was capable but physically I had to look at the reality of it all. I didn't want to be doing nothing in my life after stopping football so I took on swimming."
Club / Team
Melbourne Vicentre Swimming Club: Australia
Name of coach
Yuriy Vdovychenko [national], UKR; Leigh Nugent [national], AUS
Training Regime
He trains at the Australian Institute of Sport [AIS] in Canberra, ACT.
Senior International Debut
Competing for
Oceania Championships
Darwin, NT, AUS
General Interest
Liquid Nails [his dedication to Australian rules football despite his impairment earned him his first nickname - he chose not to use prosthetic hands so his teammates called him Nails. When he decided to become a swimmer they amended the nickname to Liquid Nails]. (, 12 Sep 2011;, 06 Apr 2011)
Most influential person in career
His adoptive mother Moira Kelly. (, 10 Oct 2010)
Hero / Idol
His adoptive mother Moira Kelly. (, 17 Jul 2012)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"I believe one should make the most of each day. If it's good, keep it in your memory and carry it on. If it's bad, learn from it and change what you can next time. Never look back on a day and say, 'what if?' Just do it, because life is so precious and we can't afford to waste a day thinking what we should have done. You only get one chance at living, so make the most of it." (, 10 Oct 2010).
Famous relatives
His adoptive Siamese twin sisters Trishna and Krishna Kelly [from Bangladesh] achieved global fame following their successful separation in 2009. His mother Moira is an Australian humanitarian and two-time Victorian of the Year award winner. His brother Emmanuel appeared on the Australian television talent show 'X-Factor' as a singer. (, 13 Sep 2011; 13 Sep 2011;, 11 Apr 2011)
To compete at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo (Facebook page, 17 Sep 2018)
He was born without the lower parts of his arms and legs. (, 26 Apr 2014)
Other information
Both he and his brother Emmanuel, who also has underdeveloped limbs, were born in Baghdad, Iraq. The pair were left on the doorstep of an orphanage by their parents, who could not cope with caring for the boys. They were both adopted by Australian Moira Kelly in 2000. "I've been very fortunate to represent Australia at the Paralympic Games [in 2012 and 2016]. I really want to represent Australia in a way to say 'thank you' to the Australian community for being able to adopt me and also helping me out medically as well. I was just very lucky, [Moira] is an amazing lady, who's so loving and caring." (Australian Department of Home Affairs Facebook page, 23 Jan 2019;, 27 May 2011, 18 Dec 2009;, 06 Apr 2011)

Competition Highlights (historical)
Paralympic Games (Overall)
Rank Year Event Result
Heats 2012 150m Individual Medley SM4 3:08.32
4 2012 50m Breaststroke SB3 52.54
Heat 2012 100m Freestyle S4 2:10.72
Heats 2012 50m Backstroke S4 57.91
6 2016 4 x 50m Freestyle Relay 20 Points 2:39.92
9 2016 150m Individual Medley SM4 3:07.81 
7 2016 50m Breaststroke SB3 51.90
11 2016 50m Backstroke S4 59.55 
World Championships (Overall)
Rank Year Event Result
Heats 2015 50m Freestyle S4 53.00
8 2015 4 x 50m Freestyle Relay 20 Points 2:58.73
Heat 2015 150m Individual Medley SM4 3:07.86
6 2015 50m Breaststroke SB3 54.44
Heats 2015 50m Backstroke S4 59.93