Paratriathlon: the ultimate guide

With so many classifications and kit considerations, paratriathlon can seem quite complicated. That's why you need our complete guide to paratri… 

© James Mitchell

World Triathlon paratriathlon events take place over the sprint distance, which is a 750m swim, 20km cycle and 5km run. 

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Like other Paralympic sports, paratriathlon is split into classes depending on an athlete’s disability. There are nine sport classes in paratriathlon that compete in six medal events:

  • PTWC1 Most impaired wheelchair users. Athletes must use a recumbent handcycle on the bike course and a racing wheelchair on the run segment; Includes athletes with comparable activity limitation and an impairment of, but not limited to:  muscle power, limb deficiency, hypertonia, ataxia or athetosis.
  • PTWC2 Least impaired wheelchair users. Athletes must use a recumbent handcycle on the bike course and a racing wheelchair on the run segment; Includes athletes with comparable activity limitation and an impairment of, but not limited to:  muscle power, limb deficiency, hypertonia, ataxia or athetosis.
  • PTS2 Severe impairments. In both bike and run segments, amputee athletes may use approved prosthesis or other supportive devices. 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.
  • PTS3 Significant impairments. In both bike and run segments, amputee athletes may use approved prosthesis or other supportive devices. 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.
  • PTS4 Moderate impairments. In both bike and run segments, amputee athletes may use approved prosthesis or other supportive devices. 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.
  • PTS5 Mild impairments. In both bike and run segments, amputee athletes may use approved prosthesis or other supportive devices. 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.
  • PTVI1 Includes athletes who are totally blind, from no light perception in either eye, to some light perception. One guide is mandatory throughout the race. Must ride a tandem during the bike segment. A guide from the same nationality and gender is mandatory throughout the race. Must ride a tandem during the bike segment.
  • PTVI2 Includes athletes who are more severe partially sighted athletes. One guide is mandatory throughout the race. Must ride a tandem during the bike segment. A guide from the same nationality and gender is mandatory throughout the race. Must ride a tandem during the bike segment.
  • PTVI3 Includes athletes who are less severe partially sighted athletes. One guide is mandatory throughout the race. Must ride a tandem during the bike segment. A guide from the same nationality and gender is mandatory throughout the race. Must ride a tandem during the bike segment.

Both PTWC1 and PTWC2 classes compete in the same PTWC Medal Event. All the ambulant classes (PTS2-PTS5) compete in their own medal event and the three visual impaired classes (PTVI1, PTVI2 and PTVI3) compete into the PTVI medal event.

World Triathlon has implemented some modifications to the classification system that was introduced in 2014 after further research was conducted to address certain aspects of the previous system. The research project is an ongoing project for both physical and vision impairments.

2022 World Triathlon Paratriathlon Series

14-15-May – Yokohama, JPN World Triathlon Para Series
11-12 Jun – Besancon, FRA World Triathlon Para Cup
18-19 Jun – A Coruna, ESP World Triathlon Para Cup
6-7 Aug – Swansea, GBR World Triathlon Para Series
2-5 Nov – Abu Dhabi, UAE World Championships

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