The classification was created by the International Paralympic Committee and has roots in a 2003 attempt to address "the overall objective to support and co-ordinate the ongoing development of accurate, reliable, consistent and credible sport focused classification systems and their implementation."
This classification is for disability athletics. This classification is one of several classifications for athletes with ambulant related disabilities. Similar classifications are T40, T42, T43, T44, T45 and T46. Jane Buckley, writing for the Sporting Wheelies, describes the athletes in this classification as: "Single below knee amputation or an athlete who can walk with moderately reduced function in one or both legs." The Australian Paralympic Committee defines this classification as being for athletes who have the "Single leg below knee amputation. Combined lower plus upper limb amputations. Ambulant with moderately reduced function in one or both lower limbs." The International Paralympic Committee defined this as: "This class is for any athlete with a lower limb impairment/s that meets minimum disability criteria for: lower limb deficiency (section 4.1.4.a); impaired lower limb PROM (section 4.1.5.b); impaired lower limb muscle power (section 4.1.6.b); or leg length difference (section 4.1.7)."
Disability type for some T44 classified competitors
Athletes seeking to compete in para-athletics first need to have a classification assessment. During this, they undergo a medical examination and are asked to demonstrate their skills in athletics, such as running, jumping or throwing. A determination is then made as to what classification an athlete should compete in. Classifications may be Confirmed or Review status. For athletes who do not have access to a full classification panel, Provisional classification is available; this is a temporary Review classification, considered an indication of class only, and generally used only in lower levels of competition.
United States runner Jerome Singleton is a strong competitor in the 100m event, winning at the IPC Athletics World Championships in 2011. Richard Browne currently holds the T44 100m world record after coming second to Alan Oliveira with a time of 10.75 at the Paralympic Anniversary Games in London on 28 July 2013. Other notable competitors in this class include Arnu Fourie and David Prince, who hold T44 200m and 400m world records respectively.
German world record holder Markus Rehm with an 8.24m long jump was the first T44 athlete who won a national able-bodied competition, in consequence causing discussions about possible advantages of prothesis techniques.
- Athletics at the 2008 Summer Paralympics – Men's 100 metres T44
- Athletics at the Summer Paralympics
- Para-athletics classification
- "Paralympic Classification Today". International Paralympic Committee. 22 April 2010. p. 3.
- Buckley, Jane (2011). "Understanding Classification: A Guide to the Classification Systems used in Paralympic Sports". Retrieved 12 November 2011.
- "Summer Sports » Athletics". Australia: Australian Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
- "Classification Information Sheet". Sydney, Australia. 16 November 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
- Tweedy, Sean (16 July 2010). "Research Report - IPC Athletics Classification Project for Physical Impairments". Queensland, Australiaa: International Paralympic Committee. p. 42. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
- "CLASSIFICATION Information for Athletes". Sydney Australia: Australian Paralympic Committee. 2 July 2010. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
- "IPC Athletics World Records". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
- Davies, Gareth A Davies (26 Jan 2011). "Jerome Singleton pips Oscar Pistorius in 100 metres T44 final at IPC Athletics World Championships". Retrieved 15 August 2012.