Rhys Darbey

Rhys Darbey has won selection for Great Britain at the Paralympics. Pic: Swim Wales

Rhys Darbey Hopes For Medal Chance At Paris Paralympics After GB Call

All wales sports

By James Candy

Welsh para-swimmer Rhys Darbey has targeted a medal in Paris after being selected to represent Great Britain at this summer’s Paralympic Games.

The Nofio Clwyd athlete will make his Paralympics debut when the Games get underway in less than 100 days.

Darbey, who only received his S14 classification in 2022, earned a silver medal at his maiden World Para-Swimming World Championships at Manchester Aquatics Centre in the SM14 200m Individual Medley.

The 16-year-old backed up his performance in Manchester with another stunning swim at the Speedo Aquatics GB Swimming Championships to earn his place on Team GB.

With the pressure on at London Aquatics Centre, Darbey sealed his spot on the Eurostar by finishing comfortably inside the nomination time and second only to Rhys Ellard in the 200m IM.

Darbey, who is coached by Craig Breeze, is the first Welsh para-swimmer to qualify for the Games since 2012.

“Once I got that silver medal at the World Championships, I definitely thought I could qualify,” said Darbey.

“I feel like I’ve improved so much over the last few years and I would like a medal in Paris or at least a final.

“It’s the pinnacle of the sport and I’m really looking forward to it, my family are trying to book hotels now.

“My parents still wake up at four or five in the morning to take me to training and they’ve been doing that for five years now.

“I love racing, it’s great, I feel like I can lock in when it comes to big moments and I’m good at stepping up.

“I just feel like when I dive into water, it clears my head and I really enjoy that. I watched the Paralympics in 2012, 2016 and in Tokyo and it looked awesome, I can’t wait to get there.

“It’s going to be great and I’m looking forward to it. Hopefully there is more to come.”

Swim Wales National Performance Director Ross Nicholas said: “I am delighted to Rhys rewarded for his performances with selection for the 2024 Paris Paralympic Games.

“Rhys has come through a tough selection process since being classified two years ago and huge congratulations must go to him, his coach Craig Breeze and his wider support network. We’re looking forward to seeing Rhys represent our nation in Paris and wish him the very best of luck.”

A total of around 230 athletes from 19 sports are expected to make up the British team that will compete in Paris, with further names to be announced by ParalympicsGB in the next few weeks.

At Tokyo 2020, ParalympicsGB won medals across a record-breaking 18 different sports – the highest number of any nation ever.

ParalympicsGB finished second on the medal table with 124 medals overall, including 41 gold, 38 silver and 45 bronze.

Paris 2024 Great Britain Para-swimming team:

Ellie Challis, Manchester Performance Centre (S3/SB2/SM3)

Stephen Clegg, University of Edinburgh (S12/SB12/SM12)

Rhys Darbey, Nofio Clwyd (S14/SB14/SM14)

Bruce Dee, Northampton SC (S6/SB6/SM6)

William Ellard, St Felix Swimming Club (S14/SB14/SM14)

Louise Fiddes, Hatfield SC (S14/SB14/SM14)

Grace Harvey, Manchester Performance Centre (S6/SB5/SM6)

Suzanna Hext, Tigersharks A.S.C. (S5/SB4/SM5)

Eliza Humphrey, Northampton SC (S11/SB11/SM11)

Scarlett Humphrey, Northampton SC (S11/SB11/SM11)

Tully Kearney, Loughborough University (S5/SB5/SM5)

Louis Lawlor, City of Glasgow ST (S14/SB14/SM14)

Poppy Maskill, Manchester Performance Centre (S14/SB14/SM14)

Olivia Newman-Baronius, Maxwell Swim Club (S14/SB14/SM14)

Megan Neave, Repton Swimming (S14/SB14/SM14)

Rebecca Redfern, Worcester SC (S13/SB13/SM13)

Faye Rogers, University of Aberdeen Performance (S10/SB10/SM10)

Toni Shaw, University of Aberdeen Performance (S9/SB9/SM9)

Harry Stewart, Plymouth Leander SC (S14/SB14/SM14)

Maisie Summers-Newton, Northampton SC (S6/SB6/SM6)

Alice Tai, Ealing SC (S8, SB8, SM8)

Mark Tompsett, Bolton Metro SS (S14/SB14/SM14)

Cameron Vearncombe, Manchester Performance Centre (S14/SB14/SM14)

Callie-Ann Warrington, RTW Monson SC (S10/SB10/SM10)

Brock Whiston, Barking and Dagenham/London Disability SC (S8, SB8, SM8)

Iona Winnifrith, Tonbridge SC (S7/SB7/SM7)

All wales sports

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