Swimmer?s life in the fast lane
By STEVE ARCHBOLD
DESPITE 10 months off with a shoulder injury, Bellingen swimmer Michael Anderson showed he has lost none of his dash as he mixed it with the best in the State.
Competing in the hearing impaired S10 and S69 categories, Anderson stamped his class on the State CHS and All Schools carnivals at Homebush.
Anderson went into the competition unsure whether a 10-month lay-off from injury had hampered his preparations.
"I was only back in the pool for six weeks before the two State carnivals and I was worried I hadn't done enough," Anderson said.
However, these fears were allayed when he won six gold, two silvers and one bronze at the two meets in a variety of strokes.
The sprinter was off the scene for nearly a year after tearing shoulder cartilage while competing for Australia at the Deaflympics in Melbourne in January last year, the lay-off a frustrating one as he missed the chance to swim at the Commonwealth Games.
Anderson commitment to his sport involves travelling daily to Coffs Harbour for two hour sessions with coach Cheryl Neville.
"Sometimes it can be a bit of a drag but eventually you get used to it, that's what competitive swimming is all about," Anderson said.
He was introduced to swimming three years ago, his initial contact coming as a result of wanting to keep his sister company.
He reached State competition in his first year and from there has never looked back.
Anderson is already in the Australian Paralympics elite training squad and is hell bent on maintaining his form to earn a crack at the Paralympics in Beijing in 2008.
In the short term, Anderson is preparing to continue his battle with Matt Cowdrey when he swims in the national championships in June.