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Bound for the games

THE Coffs Coast can count a shooter and probably a triathlete as locals who've been selected to go to this year's Olympics and now a swimmer can be added to that list.

Repton swimmer Michael Anderson is off to the Paralympics where he will be taking on the best in the world in three events, the 50 metre and 100 metre freestyle and his pet event, the 100 metre backstroke.

Anderson qualified at the national championships held at Homebush a fortnight ago and can lay claim to breaking a world record at the meet.

The 20-year-old broke his own world mark in the S10 section for the 50m backstroke when he touched the wall in a time of 29.35 seconds.

Unfortunately for the Griffith University student, the 50 metre dash isn't an event at the Paralympics this year.

A personal best in the 100m back shows proved that the local superfish was at the top his game at the nationals but Anderson admits that coming into the cut-throat week, he wasn't so sure that he would be able to produce the outstanding performances that he did.

"I wasn't too sure how I'd go because I've only been kicking for three months as I've had shoulder injuries," he said.

"I haven't been doing any arm work so I was a bit iffy going into the whole meet whether I'd actually make the team or not."

The event starts a fortnight after the biggest show on earth winds up and Anderson can't wait for the Paralympics to begin.

"I'm hoping to win a gold medal in the 100m backstroke as I'm ranked first in the world for that event," he said of his goals.

"I'm not too fussed on the freestyle, mainly the backstroke."

Now that Anderson has made it onto the team, the hard work is only just beginning.

Working under the tuition of renowned coach Glenn Baker at the Southport Olympic club, a lot of time following the black line awaits the Paralympian.

"I've got a camp down at the AIS not next week but the week after and I've got about three of those in the lead-up, two of them are Grand Prix meets," he said of his upcoming schedule.

A lot of hard work indeed but once it's all over then the man who has put his Bachelor of Business studies on hold can put up his feet.

"There'll be a bit of travel afterwards, I'm going to Thailand to have a bit of a relax and then probably move back to Repton for few months before going back to Uni in February."


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