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2867-Michael Roeger photo

Michael Roeger

Athletics
1

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Limb deficiency
Origin of Impairment
Congenital
Classification
T46

Further personal information

Residence
Canberra, ACT, AUS
Occupation
Athlete, Researcher
Languages
English
Higher education
Advertising, Communications, Marketing - University of Canberra: Australia

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He began running in 1999 while he was at school in Langhorne Creek, SA, Australia.
Why this sport?
He was inspired to take up the sport after listening to Australian Para sprinter Neil Fuller give a talk about Para sport at his school. He began focusing on running after he gave up his childhood dream of becoming an Australian rules football player.
Name of coach
Philo Saunders [personal], AUS, from 2012

General interest

Memorable sporting achievement
Breaking the world record for the first time in 2015, and winning the 2019 Marathon World Championships at the 2019 London Marathon in England. (uk.runningheroes.com, 30 Sep 2020)
Most influential person in career
His father, and coach Philo Saunders. (Athlete, 24 Oct 2015; paralympic.org.au, 07 Jan 2010)
Hero / Idol
Australian Para sprinter Neil Fuller, Moroccan runner Hicham El Guerrouj, US basketball player Michael Jordan. (Athlete, 24 Oct 2015; paralympic.org.au, 07 Jan 2010)
Injuries
In 2020 he suffered from an injury to his pelvis. (victorharbortimes.com.au, 09 Sep 2020)

In 2018 he struggled with hamstring problems throughout the season. (victorharbortimes.com.au, 29 Oct 2018)

In 2018 he was hospitalised for a week after his haemoglobin levels dropped and he needed a blood transfusion. (victorharbortimes.com.au, 29 Oct 2018)

In 2017 he sustained a nerve injury to his right knee. The problem prevented him from competing at the 2017 World Championships in London, England. (paralympic.org, 02 Apr 2019; runnerstribe.com, 25 Feb 2018)

He competed at the 2015 World Championships in Doha, Qatar, with a stress fracture in his foot. (runnerstribe.com, 25 Feb 2018)

In 2012 he suffered from gastrointestinal bleeding while competing at the Paralympic Games in London. The illness forced him to withdraw mid-race during the heats of the T46 800m at the Games. (victorharbortimes.com.au, 06 Feb 2017; canberratimes.com.au, 2016)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"To become a professional runner takes time. I know we all want it now, but if you stay patient and be consistent over years, it will give you the best opportunity to succeed. Also, listen to your body. Take an easy day or rest day, because what I have learned over the years is if your body is sore or tired over a long period of time, it needs a break, and putting in an easy or rest day will benefit you in the long run." (uk.runningheroes.com, 30 Sep 2020)
Awards and honours
In 2014 and 2018 he was named Male Para Athlete of the Year by Athletics Australia. (athleticsact.org.au, 08 Apr 2019; canberratimes.com.au, 24 Oct 2014)

In 2017 he was named the Young Citizen of the Year in Strathalbyn, SA, Australia. (victorharbortimes.com.au, 06 Feb 2017)
Other sports
He competed in able-bodied athletics at the 2014 Australian Championships in Melbourne, Victoria. He has also played Australian rules football for the Langhorne Creek Hawks, a team from his hometown in South Australia. (smh.com.au, 04 Apr 2014; victoriaharbortimes.com.au, 25 Sep 2008)
Ambitions
To win a gold medal at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (uk.runningheroes.com, 30 Sep 2020)
Impairment
He was born without the lower part of his right arm. (Athlete, 24 Oct 2015)
Other information
RELATIONSHIP WITH COACH
He began working with coach Philo Saunders in 2012. "Philo is a genius. He knows exactly what I need to reach my full potential, and I back him 110%. It's a truly unique relationship that Philo has with his athletes and one I know we are all truly appreciate and grateful of." (runnerstribe.com, 22 Jan 2020)

EARLY DAYS
He grew up in Langhorne Creek, SA, Australia, and discovered his passion for running when his school teachers would get students to do laps of the local vineyards. "Langhorne Creek is famous for some of the best wine in the country. So much great shiraz has come out of Langhorne Creek, but it's a small town and I think my school had about 80 kids from kindergarten to year six. Our three or four teachers used to get us to run around the vineyards, a two-kilometre loop. That was a cool way to start that people in the city don't really get. I was always at the pointy end of the field in those runs." (athletesvoice.com.au, 01 Jan 2019)

EARLY WORRIES
He was insecure about what others would think of him and his running performances when he started his running career. He has since worked with sport psychologists and no longer experiences the same anxiety as he did as a younger athlete. "The pressure and nerves of racing and competing were hard to deal with at first. I've learnt now, with sport psychologists and people in my team, that it doesn't matter what Australia or the world thinks of me, whether I run a world record or whether I run last. It just matters what the people in my corner, my coach, my close team and my family and friends think." (athletesvoice.com.au, 01 Jan 2019)

HEALTH SCARE
During the 2012 Paralympic Games in London he suffered from a gastrointestinal bleed, mainly caused by anti-inflammatory medication. He was forced to withdraw from the T46 800m heats and had to spend time in hospital. "The night before the race I was bleeding internally. It was the hardest thing I've been through. I was spewing up what looked like coffee grinds, but was actually dried blood, just before I had to go to the cool room to race. I sat in the cool room and I couldn't stand up because my head was killing me, and I was seeing these Kenyans and Ethiopians just doing strides and run-throughs. I thought, 'Geez how am I going to get out there and run?' I got through half a lap, basically dropped to the ground and told them to put me on a drip. I was in hospital in London for four days, had to have a blood transfusion, then flew back to Australia to get some more treatment." (athletesvoice.com.au, 01 Jan 2019)

Results

Unit Date Rank
Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games (Beijing, China)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 800 m T46 Heat 1 5
Men's 1500 m T46 Heat 1 4
Men's 1500 m T46 Final Round 8
Men's 5000 m T46 Final Round 11
2011 IPC Athletics World Championships (Christchurch, New Zealand)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 1500 m T46 Final 2011-01-24 7
Men's 800 m T46 Final 2011-01-26 4
Men's 4x100 m T42-46 Final 2011-01-29 9999
London 2012 Paralympic Games (London, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 800 m T46 Heat 2 2012-09-06 9999
IPC Athletics World Championships (Lyon, France)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 5000 m T46 Final 1 2013-07-20 3
Men's 1500 m T46 Final 1 2013-07-25 3
IPC Athletics 2015 World Championships (Doha, Qatar)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 1500 m T46 Final 1 2015-10-22 3
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 1500 m T46 Final Round 2016-09-16 3