a female Para sprinter crosses the line to win the race

Isis Holt


Holt only took up athletics in 2014 – the following year, at just 14-years-old, she lined up at her first World Championships, and with her family watching in the stands, stormed home to win two gold medals.

Holt’s victory in the 100m T35 in Doha, Qatar, was made all the more exciting as she raced against another talented teenager, Great Britain’s Maria Lyle, the European champion and former world record holder.

The Australian held strong to the tape though, clocking 13.63 as she knocked 0.53 off the previous world record she set in March that year.

Holt’s victory in the 200m was just as emphatic as she saw off a field including Lyle and the defending world champion Oxana Corso of Italy. Her time of 28.57 was yet another world record, and knocked nearly a second off the mark she set in Brisbane that March.

Hopes were high for the youngster at the Rio Paralympic Games, but she was thwarted in her quest for double sprint gold by China’s Zhou Xia, another talented teenager who took the tape in both the 100m and 200m T35, breaking Holt’s 200m T35 world record in the process.

Holt had to settle for silver that time around but she got her revenge at London 2017 with two standout performances, first over 200m where she set a new championship record of 28.47, then in the 100m three days later where she saw off the likes of Zhou and Lyle once again, lowering her own world record in the process (13.43).


Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Cerebral Palsy

Further personal information

Higher education
Psychology - University of Melbourne: Australia

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She took up the sport in grade six of school, and began competing in 2014.
Why this sport?
She was involved in a school athletics programme.
Club / Team
Victorian Institute of Sport [VIS]: Australia
Name of coach
Paul Pearce [personal], AUS

International debut

Competing for
World Championships
Doha, QAT

General interest

Lightning Bolt Holt (, 26 Nov 2018)
Equestrian, writing, reading. (, 2017)
Memorable sporting achievement
Breaking the T35 100m world record. (, 01 Jan 2018)
Most influential person in career
Australian distance runner Brett Robinson. (, 01 Jan 2018)
Hero / Idol
Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt. (, 18 Sep 2016)
Superstitions / Rituals / Beliefs
She wears long compression socks and tucks her shoelaces into her shoes. (, 01 Jan 2018)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"If you are persistent, you will get it. If you are consistent, you will keep it." (Instagram profile, 12 Dec 2018)
Awards and honours
She was named the 2017 Young Athlete of the Year at the Victorian Sport Awards in Melbourne, VIC, Australia. (, 20 Feb 2018)

She was named the 2015/16 Open Para Athlete of the Season by Athletics Victoria in Australia. (, 11 Apr 2016)

She was named Junior Athlete of the Year at the 2015 Victorian Sports Awards in Australia. (, 2015)

She received the award for 2014/15 Outstanding Junior Para Athlete Performance of the Season from Athletics Victoria in Australia. (, 30 Jun 2015)
To compete at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (, 25 Nov 2020)
She has cerebral palsy. (, 02 May 2016)
Other information
She took a two-year break from the sport to concentrate on her studies following the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, QLD, Australia. "I always used to talk about wanting to do normal teenage stuff. I was keen to have the opportunity to be a normal kid, and then I did that for a year, and I realised my values. I realised how much I loved being fit and how much I liked challenging myself physically, and then I realised, there's no place quite like the athletics track. I was just reminiscing a little bit over what I used to do all the time, and I was sort of having a think about it. And I knew that if I could come back and approach everything from a different perspective, one where I had a little bit more life experience and I was a little bit more educated on the training, the process and what it means to be an athlete, I thought, I could give it another shot. It was just like it hit me one day. I was ready to come back." (, 25 Nov 2020;, 18 Aug 2018; Facebook page, 13 Aug 2018)

In 2021 she began studying for a bachelor's degree in behavioural neuroscience [psychology] at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, QLD, Australia. (LinkedIn profile, 01 Aug 2021)


Unit Date Rank
IPC Athletics 2015 World Championships (Doha, Qatar)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 200 m T35 Heat 2 2015-10-23 1
Women's 200 m T35 Final 1 2015-10-24 1
Women's 100 m T35 Heat 2 2015-10-29 1
Women's 100 m T35 Final 1 2015-10-29 1
Women's 4x100 m T35-38 Final 1 2015-10-31 9999
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 100 m T35 Final Round 2016-09-14 2
Women's 4x100 m T35-38 Final Round 2016-09-15 3
Women's 200 m T35 Final Round 2016-09-17 2
World Para Athletics Championships London 2017 (London, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 200 m T35 Final 1 2017-07-16 1
Women's 100 m T35 Final 1 2017-07-19 1