Paratriathlon is a variant of the triathlon for athletes with a physical disability. The sport is governed by the International Triathlon Union (ITU), and was first held as a Paralympic event at the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The annual ITU Triathlon World Championships includes a paratriathlon sprint distance event with a 750 m swim, 20 km cycling using handcycles, bicycles or tandem bicycles with a guide and a 5 km wheelchair or running race. Athletes compete in six categories according to the nature of their physical impairments, with variations made to the traditional event structure commensurate with their disability.
At the 2018 Commonwealth Games, paratriathlon was staged with athletes across multiple categories, with staggered starts introduced to ensure fair competition between categories.
Classification system until 2014
- TRI-1 – Wheelchair user. Paraplegic, quadriplegic and other impairments that preclude use of a leg-pedalled bicycle. Use a handcycle on the cycling stage and a racing wheelchair on the running stage.
- TRI-2 – Severe leg impairment which includes above knee amputation. Use a conventional bicycle and run with above-knee prosthesis or using crutches.
- TRI-3 – Les Autres, including athletes with multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, double leg amputation or paralysis in multiple limbs. Use a conventional bicycle or a tricycle and run with leg braces or prosthesis.
- TRI-4 – Arm impairments, including paralysis, amputation or other impairment in one or both arms. Use a conventional bicycle and may use braces, prosthesis or slings on the cycling and/or running stage.
- TRI-5 – Moderate leg impairment, including below knee amputation. Use a conventional bicycle and may run with brace or prosthesis.
- TRI-6a – Visual impairment, total blindness or may be able to perceive light but not recognise the shape of a hand at any distance or direction. Competes with a guide of the same sex and uses a tandem bicycle.
- TRI-6b – Visual impairment, acuity of less than 6/60 or field of less than 40 degrees with correction. Competes with a guide of the same sex and uses a tandem bicycle.
Classification system from 2014
The ITU revised the Paratriathlon classification system in preparation for the sport's debut at the 2016 Summer Paralympics. The ITU formed a Paratriathlon Classification Research Group to develop an evidence-based and sports specific classification system, drawing on work in swimming, cycling and athletics.
The result of the research is a new classification system which has been implemented during the 2014 season. There are five classes, PT1 to PT4 is for athletes with various mobility impairments with PT1 for the most impaired and PT4 for the least impaired. PT5 is for visually impaired athletes.
- PT1 - Athletes with mobility impairments such as muscle power, limb deficiency, hypertonia, ataxia or athetosis that render them incapable of safely running or pedalling a bicycle. They must have a classification assessment score of up to 640,0 points. Athletes must use a recumbent handcycle during the cycling stage and a racing wheelchair for the running phase of the race.
- PT2 - Athletes with mobility impairments such as muscle power, limb deficiency, hypertonia, ataxia or athetosis that have a classification assessment score of up to 454,9 points. Amputees may use approved prostheses or supportive devices during the running and cycling stages.
- PT3 - Athletes with mobility impairments such as muscle power, limb deficiency, hypertonia, ataxia or athetosis that have a classification assessment score from 455,0 to 494,9 points. Athletes may use approved prostheses or supportive devices during the running and cycling stages.
- PT4 - Athletes with mobility impairments such as muscle power, limb deficiency, hypertonia, ataxia or athetosis that have a classification assessment score from 495,0 to 557,0 points. Athletes may use approved prostheses or supportive devices during the running and cycling stages.
- PT5 - Athletes with a visual impairment. All qualifying levels of visual impairment, IBSA/IPC defined sub-classes B1, B2, and B3, are grouped together in this classification. Athletes must have a sighted guide of the same gender and nationality during the entire race and use a tandem bicycle during the cycling stage.
Major medalists in paratriathlon
- Paralympic Games
- Rio 2016
|Men's PT1||Jetze Plat (NED)||Geert Schipper (NED)||Giovanni Achenza (ITA)|
|Men's PT2||Andrew Lewis (GBR)||Michele Ferrarin (ITA)||Mohamed Lahna (MAR)|
|Men's PT4||Martin Schulz (GER)||Stefan Daniel (CAN)||Jairo Ruiz Lopez (ESP)|
|Women's PT2||Allysa Seely (USA)||Hailey Danisewicz (USA)||Melissa Stockwell (USA)|
|Women's PT4||Grace Norman (USA)||Lauren Steadman (GBR)||Gwladys Lemoussu (FRA)|
|Women's PT5||Katie Kelly (AUS)||Alison Patrick (GBR)||Melissa Reid (GBR)|
- Commonwealth Games
- Gold Coast 2018
|Men's PWTC||Joseph Townsend (ENG)||Nic Beveridge (AUS)||Bill Chaffey (AUS)|
|Women's PWTC||Jade Jones (ENG)||Emily Tapp (AUS)||Lauren Parker (AUS)|
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