Awesome foursome as Roeger charges to another world record
A stunning 2018 has seen Paralympian Michael Roeger claim his fourth world record this year, last week adding the 10,000 Zatopek to his resume in his categoy as a T46 (arm amputee) athlete
CHAMPION Para-athlete Michael Roeger says he will be looking forward to a little downtime during Christmas/New Year to reflect on a remarkable 2018 where four world records came his way as a T46 athlete.
The South Australian Sports Institute (SASI ) scholarship holder, based in Canberra, proved something of a supertstar by claiming world records in the 5000m (February), 1500m (March), marathon (October) and in mid December the 10,000 where he competed against able-bodied athletes to finish sixth overall at the Lakeside Stadium in Melbourne.
Roeger, 30, said he couldn't believe his success.
"I pulled up a bit sore but I am so happy to finish the year so well," Roeger said. "To finish sixth against able-bodied athletes means so much and was a great way to finish the year.
"This has given me so much confidence and belief that I can achieve no matter what the event is and the competition.
"It is an amazing feeling. I feel my consistency has played a big part in my good results and the key now is to keep it going in 2019.
"In the past competing in an event like the Zatopek would have been so daunting for me but nothing worries me now.''
One of his biggest thrills this year was when he crossed the line in the Melbourne Marathon in 2 hours 23 minutes 30 seconds, smashing the previous record in that category of 2:26.44.30.
After the Christmas break which he will share with his family in Port Lincoln at the home of his twin brother, doctor Chris, Roeger will take part in the national cross country titles in late January in Canberra.
A top-six finish could see him win a place on the Australian team to compete at the cross country world titles in Denmark in late March.
The London Marathon in April will be very much on the radar.
Next year Roeger, with his coach Philo Saunders, will continue to decide whether to target both the 1500m and marathon at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.
But at least one goal still remains for the SA-born star who has three bronze medals at world titles and a bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Paralympics.
"I have done the hard work but that will still continue. My dream is to stand on top of the podium. I would love that," Roeger said.
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Contact: Gordon Armstrong