Ella Jones will make her debut on the international stage this year, after being named in the Australian team to compete at the World Para Swimming Championships.
The Springwood Swimming Club member from Emu Plains made the team after swimming a qualifying time in the 50m freestyle at the Australian Swimming Championships in Adelaide in April.
Jones has cerebral palsy and competes in the multi-class S8 category for swimmers with some leg function.
Jones swam the 50m freestyle in 31:34 seconds, a PB, and more than a full second quicker than the qualifying time.
As soon as she touched the wall, she looked for her time on the board and read it incorrectly at first, then wiped her eyes, and 31:3 came into focus.
"I was really, really happy," Jones said.
Her parents and coach Nick Robinson had also travelled to Adelaide for the championships.
"Everyone was crying. I was really, really excited and happy," Jones said.
"It was really good having everybody there."
The 2020 Paralympics are her ultimate goal, which she said now seems more real and achievable after qualifying for the world championships.
"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I don't take it lightly at all," Jones said.
"I couldn't do it without the support of Nick [coach] and Springwood Swimming Club."
The 18-year-old is one of nine debutants on the 34-member Australian Dolphins team.
Faulconbridge swimmer Jenna Jones (no relation to Ella) who competed at the Rio Paralympics in 2016, is also on the team.
The world championships will be held in London in September.