© James Mitchell
Training

Paratriathlon: the ultimate guide

In 2016, paratriathlon will become a paralympic sport for the first time in the sport’s history. Here’s our guide to the sport for when it debuts in Rio.

ITU paratriathlon events are over the sprint distance, which is a 750m swim, 20km cycle and 5km run,however, paratriathletes have competed open age-group events over every distance, including Ironman.

Like other paralympic sports paratriathlon is split into classes depending on an athlete’s disability. These are five classes all together for both female and male athletes, and below is the ITU official classification.

PT1 Wheelchair users. Includes athletes with comparable activity limitation and an impairment of, but not limited to: muscle power, limb deficiency, hypertonia, ataxia, athetosis that prevent the ability to safely ride a conventional bike and run. Through classification assessment, athletes must have a score of up to 640,0 points. Athletes must use a recumbent handcycle on the bike course,  and a racing wheelchair on the run segment.

PT2 Includes athletes with comparable activity limitation and an impairment of, but not limited to, limb deficiency, hypertonia, ataxia and or athetosis, impaired muscle power or range of movement that through classification assessment have a score of up to 454,9 points. In both bike and run segments, amputee athletes may use approved prosthesis or other supportive devices.

PT3 Includes athletes with comparable activity limitation and an impairment of, but not limited to, limb deficiency, hypertonia, ataxia and or athetosis, impaired muscle power or range of movement that through classification assessment have a score from 455,0 to 494,9 points. In both bike and run segments, the athlete may use approved prosthesis or other supportive devices.

PT4 Includes athletes with comparable activity limitation and an impairment of, but not limited to, limb deficiency, hypertonia, ataxia and or athetosis, impaired muscle power or range of movement that through classification assessment have a score from 495,0 to 557,0 points included. In both bike and run segments, the athlete may use approved prosthesis or other supportive devices.

PT5 Total or Partial visual Impairment (IBSA/IPC defined sub-classes B1, B2, and B3): Includes athletes who are totally blind, from no light perception in either eye, to some light perception but unable to recognize the shape of a hand at any distance or in any direction (B1) and partially sighted athletes with a visual acuity of less than 6/60 vision or visual field less than 20 degrees with best corrective vision (B2-B3). A guide from the same nationality and gender is mandatory throughout the race. Must ride a tandem during the bike segment.

However not all these divisions will be contested in Rio. The men will compete over PT1, PT2, PT4 classes, while the women will contest PT2, PT4, PT5.

The venue for the Paralympic tri is the same as the Olympic venue – Copacabana Beach – but the course is different:

The paratri starts are all in the water from a floating pontoon, and the swim course will be slightly more sheltered than the Olympic swim.

The paratriathlon bike course is along the front in Copacabana on a very wide, fast and flat road, as oposed to the Olympic bike section which takes in multiple laps of a very challenging climb and fast descent.

Both the Olympic and Paralympic run courses are along the front on Copacabana.

“The paratriathlon on Copacabana Beach is expected to be one of the best free-to-view spectacles of the Paralympics (and Olympics!)” ,says Helen Gorman from the British Triathlon Federation. “This is the pinnacle of years of work to get the sport included in the Games and now it’s the opportunity for athletes to be crowned the first ever paratriathlon medal winners in front of a massive global audience."

The International Triathlon Union says: “Triathlon is a rare sport in which able-bodied athletes compete, side-by-side, with disabled athletes at both the national and international levels. While paratriathlon has the potential to be the fastest growing sport in the Paralympic Movement, in that process we are accomplishing something that goes well beyond the expansion of para-sport: we are helping to create inspirational role models for the world."

Related: 

 Britain’s pioneering approach to elite paratriathlon training

Commonwealth Games to host Paratriathlon for first time

BTF announce selection policy for Paralympics


 
 

Daily deals from top retailers

We'd love you to add a comment! Please login or take half a minute to register as a free member

Back to the top