Paddlers lead the way for Australia's Paralympic team

Currently enjoying career-best form, para-canoeist Dylan Littlehales wants to finish 2024 with a Paralympic medal around his neck, having become one of the first Australians to be confirmed for the Games.

Littlehales, three-time Paralympic gold-medal winner Curtis McGrath and double Paralympian Susan Seipel were on Saturday announced as the first three members of Australia’s team for the Paris Games.

Australia’s chef de mission Kate McLoughlin said the trio had all “proven themselves to be exceptional canoeists” as they look to add to their respective medal hauls later this year.

Seipel - who collected VL2 silver in Tokyo in 2021 and a KL2 bronze at the Rio 2016 Games - and McGrath have enjoyed their fair share of time on the Paralympic podium.

Curtis McGrath.
Curtis McGrath will be chasing a fourth Paralympic gold medal in Paris.

But after narrowly missing out on a medal in Tokyo three years ago, Littlehales is hoping it will be his time to join them.

The New South Welshman took gold at last year’s KL3 world championship in Germany and is relishing the challenge of stepping up in Paris.

“I’m 24 now, so this Games and (Los Angeles 2028) are the two peak Games for me physically - and this is the first Games I’ve come into as a world champion, which is a huge bonus,” Littlehales said.

“I was getting close for a couple of years, so to finally be able to tick it off the list and become No.1 the year leading into the Games is a big boost.

“I know I’ve done it before and I can do it again.”

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