3rd September 2021

William Martin became the first Australian in any sport to win three events in the Paralympic Games in Tokyo, and is one of three QUT students to have won medals at the games.

Medal tally for QUT students: 4 gold, 3 silver

  • William Martin, gold medal in the men's 400m freestyle S9 and gold medal in the 4 x 100m freestyle relay, gold medal in 100m butterfly S9, silver medal in 4 x 100m medley relay
  • Isis Holt, silver medal in the women's 100m T35 and silver medal in the women's 200m T35
  • Rachael Watson, gold medal in the women's 50m freestyle

William started and ended his games in winning performances.

He won gold for Australia in the men's 400m Freestyle - S9 on the first day of the Paralympic Games in Tokyo and was part of the gold medal-winning 4 x 100m Freestyle relay team. 

Then he broke the world record in the heats of the 100m butterfly, and broke it again to win gold.

He finished the games with another silver medal winning performance as part of the 4 x 100m medley relay.

Rachael Watson
Rachael Watson won a gold medal in the 50m freestyle.


Rachael Watson also finished the games on a high, claiming back-to-back gold in the 50m freestyle S14.

Isis Holt won silver in the 100m, in a brilliant run in which she smashed her previous world record, and a second silver medal in the 200m.

Isis Holt
Isis Holt finished the games with two silver medals.


Three QUT students and an alumnus, who have been supported with their studies through the QUT Elite Athlete Program, and are representing Australia in the Paralympic Games.

  • William Martin, Bachelor of Urban Development (Honours), swimming S9
  • Isis Holt, Bachelor of Behavioural Science (Psychology), running T35
  • Nicholas Beveridge, Bachelor of Laws (Honours) (Graduate Entry) Triathlon PTWC
  • Rachael Watson, alumnus, Bachelor of Early Childhood Studies - swimming S4
William Martin
William Martin won a gold medal in freestyle.


Isis Holt, who was breaking world records within 12 months of taking up running, will compete in the 100m and 200m running events in the T35 category.

Nicholas Beveridge competed in the Paralympics in Rio and will be competing in the triathlon PTWC.

Rachael Watson, who won a gold medal at the Paralympics at Rio, will be competing in the 50m freestyle S4.


Isis said representing her country at the Paralympics Games was “just the pinnacle of everything that I'm able to do”.

“It's being able to show my absolute best on one day of the year and really execute it and get it right. And that's what's so exciting about it,” Isis said.

Rachael Watson stayed positive during COVID-19 lockdowns.


Rachael said the support at QUT had helped her to balance the commitments of elite sport and study.

Even when the 2020 Olympics were postponed, Rachael said she focussed on the positive and the knowledge that everyone was impacted by the pandemic in some way.

“I was motivated to continue to train even if it meant doing a home program due to no pool access during certain lockdown phases because I wanted to set myself goals to still complete,” Rachael said.

She said representing Australia was a “huge honour”.

“It means that the world can see what people with a disability can do and hopefully it inspires kids and parents and adults to work hard at their goals,” she said.

Nicholas Beveridge competed in triathlon in his second Paralympics.


QUT currently has 239 students on the Elite Athlete Program, 47 of whom are on scholarships.

The Program is endorsed by the Australian Institute of Sport as a member of the Elite Athlete Education Network. Students are supported through flexible enrolment, assessment, and exams wherever possible. The university also offers personal and professional development, support services, financial assistance and a bonus point entry scheme for new students and current students wanting to change courses.

QUT recently announced a new $100,000 sporting scholarship initiative with the Australian Institute of Sport.

Media contact:

Rod Chester, QUT Media, 07 3138 9449, rod.chester@qut.edu.au

After hours: Rose Trapnell, 0407 585 901, media@qut.edu.au

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