The National , Tuesday, May 31, 2011
BSP-Digicel Team disabled athlete, Francis Kompaon won a bronze medal in the 100m-T46 race at the Paralympics World Cup in Manchester, United Kingdom, last Friday.
PNG Paralympic Committee was very proud of Kompaon’s effort because it was the first time the PNG national flag was raised at a World Cup event.
After Kompaon’s A qualification standard direct of 100m-T46 to London 2012 Paralympics Games in Christchurch in January, he again consolidated his position for the A qualification standard of 200m-T46 to the London Games.
He is the first PNG athlete to be invited to attend Paralympics World Cup with all travelling expenses met by the UK organisation.
The medal was a boost for the Paralympics after their black day at Arafura Games where one of their athletes was charged with assaulting a young girl in Darwin last month.
This was the first time for Kompaon to be Europe and the PNG Paralympics Committee executives were worried he was catching flu or something, especially with the 10-hours difference, and a long journey via Dubai.
He left Brisbane on the evening of May 24, arrived in Manchester the next day for the event on May 27.
Elated PNG Paralympic committee executive said it was a good experience and should help Kompaon in the future when competing in different time zones with little recovery from jetlag and acclimatising to the conditions in London prior to his event.
Kompaon ran 11.46 in the 100m-T46 to place him third behind Britain’s Abidogun Ola and Russian Nosulenko Yury in the first place with 11.36s.
However, he was a little disappointment with his timing since his personal best in 100m T-46 was 11.10 he clocked at the 2008 Beijing Olympics winning PNG’s first silver medal in the event.
It was noted that during the IPC Athletics World Championships in Christchurch early this year, Brazilian Yohansson Nascimento broke the world record when he clocked 11.01 and China’s Ni Guo won the silver in 11.13 while Kompaon ran 11.27 to settle for fifth place.
However, at the recent World Cup, Kompaon was ahead of the Brazilian world record holder Nascimento and Guo.
In the 200m T-46, Francis was ahead of the Brazilian and the Chinese clocking in 23.42 to finish fourth behind Venezuela’s Colmenares Samuel.
Britain’s Abidogun Ola took gold in 23.04s while Russian’s Nosulenko Yury finished second in 23.10.