Paratriathlon

What is Paratriathlon?

Paratriathlon is a variant of the sport of triathlon for athletes with a physical disability. The sport is governed by the International Triathlon Union (ITU), and made its Paralympic debut at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio and Commonwealth Games debut in 2018.

The ITU has committed to support the development of paratriathlon for over 20 years. There are currently nine sport classes for athletes with impairments to compete in six different medal events over the sprint paratriathlon distance of 750m swim, 20km bike (handcycle/tandem), 5km run (wheelchair) at the different ITU races each season, including the ITU World Triathlon Championships.

What is Classification?

There are different sport classes that compete in paratriathlon. Classification provides a structure for competition to ensure the success of an athlete is determined by skill, fitness, power, endurance, tactical ability and mental focus. This system is called classification.

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.

For a description of all classes please link to the IPC’s Laymen’s Guide for Paralympic Summer Sports.

ITU 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.

Taken from the International Triathlon Union

 

Get Involved

If you just want to find out a bit more about getting involved in triathlon or want to try taking part in an event for the first time then take a look at our Disability Triathlon page.

Disability Triathlon

If you would like to get involved with Performance Paratriathlon then the best information can be found on the British Triathlon website at the link below.

British Triathlon

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