Man born without arms, legs ready to race at Rio

Emily Angwin

A Melbourne man adopted from Iraq has earned the nickname "Liquid Nails" as he chases his dreams of Paralympic gold in Rio.

Moira Kelly adopted Ahmed, who was born without arms or legs, and his brother Emmanuelle from a Baghdad orphanage in 1998.

He came to Australia with dreams of going to school, and now at the age of 24, he has his sights set on gold.

Paralympian Ahmed Kelly. Source: 7News
Support for Ahmed Kelly. Source: 7News

“Basically I got into the water and just had small goals leading to big goals,” Ahmed said.

“It was almost destiny to get in the pool and give it my best shot.”

Ahmed comes from a tough family; with his sisters the former conjoined twins Trishna and Kristna. But despite his tough start to life, Ahmed is one to watch in Rio.

Ahmed Kelly as a young boy with his brother in the background. Source: 7News

“He’s looking good, you know he really is,” coach Brad Harris said. “I’m confident with his preparation.”

The 24-year-old trains eight times a week, swimming more than 24 kilometres.

'Liquid nails' Kelly in training. Source: 7News

“Top four time is quite competitive and every one of us is pretty close to one another,” Ahmed said.

“It’s all about trying to out muscle one another when we get into that race.”

Ahmed Kelly in training for the Paralympics. Source: 7News

The man dubbed "Liquid Nails" is just weeks away from competing at the Rio Paralympics.

Ahmed’s main event is the 50 metres breaststroke where he finished fourth at London in 2012.

The 24-year-old will be supported in Rio by his amazing mum and brother while his twin sisters will be cheering on from home.