Kirralee's perfect timing for Tokyo Games

Posted: 8am 07 Jul 2021

Kirralee Hayes has her boarding pass for the flight to Tokyo, but says reality may not sink in until she actually steps on the plane.

The 17-year-old from Genesis Aquatics in Bray Park is now preparing for her first Paralympic Games (August 24-September 5).

Hayes, a founding member of the club at Genesis Christian College, has qualified for the S13 (vision impaired) 50m Freestyle and 100m Butterfly in Japan.

Kirralee Hayes, centre, with her boaarding pass for Tokyo, presented when the Paralympic team was announced.

Nerve wracking

At the trials, she needed to swim 28.00 seconds to have a chance of making the Tokyo team - and clocked exactly 28 seconds!

“I was very happy, then it was just a question of waiting to see if I got in,” Hayes said, “it was still nerve wracking.

“I was just about to leave for the finals (at the trials) when I was told ‘make sure are here at this time with these things’.

'This is real'

“I thought wow! It (the official announcement) was surreal. I wasn’t going to believe it until I was called out. I thought things can happen. They might have got it wrong.

“Then I started believing it and thinking this is real. But, honestly, I don’t think it will really sink in until I get on that plane to Tokyo.”

Hayes is based at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in Canberra, but regularly returns to train at Genesis Aquatics with her coach Rick Pendleton.

Kirralee Hayes' coach Rick Pendleton at Genesis Aquatic.

Racing ability

“Once Kirralee is in the moment she is very capable,” said Pendleton, “her racing ability is pretty strong. She doesn’t get phased by much.

“When it comes to the final at a big meet she generally steps up and knows what she has to do.”

Pendleton said Hayes had “been on the radar” of Swimming Australia for two years after making the finals at the 2019 National Championships as a 15-year-old.

“At that point Swimming Australia were asking more about her,” said Pendleton, “it has been a long journey to this point and we’re very proud of her.”

Work load

Hayes has a busy few weeks coming up. She went back to the AIS in Canberra, then returns to Queensland and enters a pre-Paralympic camp in Cairns before flying to Tokyo.

She has also had to concentrate on important school work.

“In class I’m fine, I can focus of the work,” said Hayes, “In free time my mind can wander. “I have thought a little about the races (in Tokyo), but really I just want to take it one step at a time.

“I am still learning about my opponents and I know I’ve got to work hard.”

There's more news here



Innovation turns to gold

An ingenious idea to turn garbage trucks into mobile road monitoring units has won Moreton Bay Regional Council gold in the 2020 Local Government Managers Australia (LGMA) Queensland Awards for Excellence.…

Confetti Cake Co. brings whimsical charm to baked delights

Zoe Dalrymple is the driving force behind Confetti Cake Co., a North Brisbane-based cake design studio which specialises in celebration cakes and desserts with a difference.…

More you might like:


Local News   •   1-8-2021  •   Kylie Knight

COVID-19 UPDATE: Nine new cases

There have been nine new cases detected of COVID-19's Delta variant in the community in the past 24 hours and all are linked to the Indooroopilly cluster. Here's the latest from this morning's press conference.…

Local News   •   31-7-2021  •   Kylie Knight

Community rallies to support producers

The community has rallied to support producers devasted by the snap lockdown and cancellation of this weekend’s Moreton Bay Food + Wine Festival. They have bought about $10,000 worth of produce and will collect it tomorrow at Dayboro and Samford.…

Local News   •   31-7-2021  •   Nick Crockford

Students ready to hack into data for skills test

USC Engineering and Computer Science students will hack into open government data next month to find solutions to real-world problems at GovHack, which is being hosted by USC Moreton Bay for the first time.…

Local News   •   31-7-2021  •   Kylie Knight

Lockdown forces events to cancel

The snap three-day lockdown, which takes effect at 4pm today has forced the cancellation of many big and small events across the region. Here’s a list…

Local News   •   31-7-2021  •   Nick Crockford

Snap three-day lockdown from 4pm

Moreton Bay Region is one of 11 council areas going into a snap three-day lockdown from 4pm today. It comes as Deputy premier Steven Miles announced seven new cases in Queensland in the last 24 hours.…

Local News   •   31-7-2021  •   Kylie Knight

‘80s party vibe strikes a chord

Redcliffe-based band the Killtoys have found inspiration in the pop/new wave vibes of the 1980s for their latest single and it seems the punters are loving it.…

Your free local community newspaper, home delivered fortnightly.

Read Latest Edition