Paralympic pair have run of village

Not missing the village … Michael Roeger.IT IS fortunate that Michael Roeger and Sam Harding do not have thin skins because the message they have received from officials in the Paralympic village is that they did not want to see them. Or at least not until Saturday.
Nanjing Night Net

This week therefore will truly be a case of then there were two for Roeger and Harding.

After a month where most of the Australian Paralympic team took over the Hilton hotel in Cardiff for a pre-Games camp, the two middle distance runners will be the only remaining team members left in the Welsh capital.

The rest of the more than 100 team members and officials who were in Cardiff, some teams such as the wheelchair racing squad had separate camps elsewhere, are now in the athletes village. The wheelchair rugby team will leave for the village on Tuesday afternoon, Sydney time.

Roeger and Harding are on orders to remain away from London until Saturday. They have not been quarantined however, but rather it is a case of the team coaches attempting to find a way to best manage their preparation.

The pair do not have their first races until early next week. Roeger, who will run the 800, 1500 metres and the 4×100 relay, was born without part of his right arm and will compete in the T46 classification, while Harding is vision impaired and will run the 800 metres in the T13 classification.

So to keep them level-headed and resist any overexcitement from participating in the opening ceremony or life in the village it was decided early in the preparation to have them stay in Cardiff where they can continue with their preparations without distractions.

Roeger said he and Harding were happy to oblige.

“It’s better for us because we’re later in the program,” Roeger said. “We’re not in all the hype of London and the village and everything else, we know the facilities here, the food’s good, everything is good, the track is close so it’s easier for us to just stay here low key.”

“I went to Beijing so I guess I’ve done the opening ceremony. I’ve experienced the village and it was fantastic and all exciting. This time around it’s like we’ve got a job to do and I’m just going to focus on my race and that’s it. So I don’t feel like I’m missing out because I’ve been there in Beijing.”

Harding, who will be competing at his first Paralympics, also said they were now tapering their preparation so they did not require much coaching supervision.

“We’re only on our own for a week … we’re not doing all that much with the taper and things like that so we’re pretty self sufficient,” he said.

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Posted by at 21/11/2018
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