Today’s homecoming of the Australian Paralympics team sees the return of two Griffith business students with fond memories of a summer in London.
Michael Anderson, who is studying sports management at the Gold Coast campus, packed two medals for the trip home from the 2012 Paralympics. He was a member of the Australian swimming team which won gold in the 4 x100 freestyle relay and bronze in the 4 x 100m medley relay.
Francis Kompaon, who is a commerce student at Griffith University, achieved new personal best times in both of his specialist sprint codes during the Games. However, the honour of being selected to be Papua New Guinea’s flag-bearer at the opening ceremony may even have surpassed the PB brace.
Francis was one of two athletes to represent his nation in London, competing in the Men’s 100m and 200m T46 (the category for upper limb amputees). He finished sixth in his heats of the 200m, with a personal best of 23.05 seconds, but failed to advance to the final.
In his main event, the 100m, he finished third in his heat, qualifying for the final as a fastest loser with a personal best time of 11.21 seconds. In the final he could not recapture his silver medal performance in Beijing four years earlier. Curtailed by injury, he finished seventh.
Michael Anderson was part of an Australian team that improved on third place in the heats to claim gold in the Men’s 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay. Australia turned the tables on Russia, who finished second in the heat, to grab gold in the pool.
A similar turnaround saw Australia finish first in their heat of the Men’s 4 x 100m Medley Relay, ahead of China and the Ukraine. In the final China claimed first place, with Australia settling for bronze.
Michael also qualified for the Men’s 100m Backstroke – S10 Final, where he finished fifth, and for the Men’s 100m Freestyle – S10 Final.
A native of NSW’s Northern Rivers region, he moved to the Gold Coast to study at Griffith University. He also won silver at the 2008 Beijing Games (pictured).