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."
There were changes made to the class in 2008, that made the category more selective by changing the minimum criteria to be eligible to compete in this classification.
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 above elbow/Single below elbow amputation or similar disability." The Australian Paralympic Committee defines this classification as being for athletes who have the "Single arm, above or below elbow amputation. Normal function in both lower limbs. Other impairments in trunk. Upper limb function in throwing." The International Paralympic Committee defined this as: "The following athletes compete in class T46 for all running and jumping events: • Athletes with UNILATERAL upper limb impairment that meets the relevant unilateral criteria described for upper limb deficiency (Section 4.1.4.b.i), impaired upper limb ROM (Section 4.1.5.c.i) or impaired upper limb muscle power (Section 4.1.6.c.i); • Athletes with BILATERAL impairment meeting the bilateral criteria described for upper limb deficiency in Section 4.1.4.b.i."
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 an 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.
Notable athletes in this class include T46 world record holders Heath Francis (AUS), Gunther Matzinger (AUT) and Yunidis Castillo (CUB). Ajibola Adeoye's T46 100m world record, set at the 1992 Summer Paralympics, has not yet been beaten. Simon Patmore (AUS) and South African sprinter Zivan Smith also run in this class.
- Para-athletics classification
- Athletics at the Summer Paralympics
- Athletics at the 2008 Summer Paralympics – Men's 100 metres T46
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- "Athletics classifications explained". UK public service broadcaster Channel 4. 26 Apr 2012. Retrieved 08 March 2013.
- "Paralympic Classification Today". International Paralympic Committee. 22 April 2010. p. 3.
- Tweedy, Sean (16 July 2010). "Research Report - IPC Athletics Classification Project for Physical Impairments". Queensland, Australiaa: International Paralympic Committee. p. 43. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
- 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.
- "CLASSIFICATION Information for Athletes". Sydney Australia: Australian Paralympic Committee. 2 July 2010. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
- "Barcelona 1992 Paralympic Games - Athletics - Men's 100 m TS4". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
- "IPC Athletics World Records". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
- Zivan Smith, retrieved 22 September 2012