T34 (classification)

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T34 and CP4 are disability sport classification for disability athletics. The classification is one of eight specifically for athletes with cerebral palsy, and one of four for athletes with cerebral palsy who use a wheelchair. People in this class have hypertonia, ataxia and athetosis.


T34 competitor Hannah Lucy Cockroft

This classification is for disability athletics.[1] This classification is one of eight classifications for athletes with cerebral palsy, four for wheelchair athletes (T31, T32, T33, T34) and four for ambulant ones (T35, T36, T37 and T38).[2] Jane Buckley, writing for the Sporting Wheelies, describes the athletes in this classification as: "CP4, see CP-ISRA classes (appendix) Wheelchair".[1] The classification in the appendix by Buckley goes on to say "The athlete has minimal limitations or control problems in their arms and trunk while pushing a wheelchair."[1] The Australian Paralympic Committee defines this classification as being for "Moderate to severe problems in lower limbs, good functional strength and minimal control problems in upper limbs and torso".[3] According to International Paralympic Committee 2011 rules, an ambulant athlete with spastic diplegia featuring lower limb spasticity Grade 3 is eligible to compete in either the T35 classification (running) or as a wheelchair racer in T34.[4] The International Paralympic Committee defined this classification on their website in July 2016 as, "Coordination impairments (hypertonia, ataxia and athetosis)".[5]


The spasticity athetosis level and location of a CP4 sportsperson.

On a daily basis, CP4 sportspeople in this class are likely to use a wheelchair. Some may be ambulant with the use of assistive devices.[6] They have minimal control problems in upper limbs and torso, and good upper body strength. [6][7][8] Head movement and trunk function differentiate this class from CP3. Lack of symmetry in arm movement are another major difference between the two classes, with CP3 competitors having less symmetry.[9]

While they may be able to walk with assistance, F34 competitors throw from a fixed seated position.[10]


Events that may be on the program for CP4 competitors include the club, discus throw, shot put and javelin.[11]


Australian T34 competitor Rheed McCracken

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."[12]

For the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio, the International Paralympic Committee had a zero classification at the Games policy. This policy was put into place in 2014, with the goal of avoiding last minute changes in classes that would negatively impact athlete training preparations. All competitors needed to be internationally classified with their classification status confirmed prior to the Games, with exceptions to this policy being dealt with on a case by case basis.[13] In case there was a need for classification or reclassification at the Games despite best efforts otherwise, athletics classification was scheduled for September 4 and September 5 at Olympic Stadium. For sportspeople with physical or intellectual disabilities going through classification or reclassification in Rio, their in competition observation event is their first appearance in competition at the Games.[13]

Becoming classified[edit]

Athletes with cerebral palsy or similar impairments who wish to compete in para-athletics competition must first undergo a classification assessment. During this, they both undergo a bench test of muscle coordination and demonstrate their skills in athletics, such as pushing a racing wheelchair and 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.[14]


Australian athletics competitors in this class include Rheed McCracken, Rosemary Little and Kristy Pond.[15]


  1. ^ a b c Buckley, Jane (2011). "Understanding Classification: A Guide to the Classification Systems used in Paralympic Sports". Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  2. ^ "Summer Sports » Athletics". Australia: Australian Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 19 November 2011. 
  3. ^ "Classification Information Sheet" (PDF). Sydney, Australia. 16 November 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2011. 
  4. ^ "IPC Athletics Classification Rules and Regulations" (PDF). International Paralympic Committee. 
  5. ^ "IPC Athletics Classification & Categories". www.paralympic.org. Retrieved 2016-07-22. 
  6. ^ a b "CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM FOR STUDENTS WITH A DISABILITY". Queensland Sport. Queensland Sport. Retrieved July 23, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Clasificaciones de Ciclismo" (PDF). Comisión Nacional de Cultura Física y Deporte (in Spanish). Mexico: Comisión Nacional de Cultura Física y Deporte. Retrieved July 23, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Kategorie postižení handicapovaných sportovců". Tyden (in Czech). September 12, 2008. Retrieved July 23, 2016. 
  9. ^ "CLASSIFICATION AND SPORTS RULE MANUAL" (PDF). CPISRA. CPISRA. January 2005. Retrieved July 22, 2016. 
  10. ^ Cashman, Richmard; Darcy, Simon (2008-01-01). Benchmark Games. Benchmark Games. ISBN 9781876718053. 
  11. ^ "Invitation til DHIF’s Atletik Forbunds". Frederiksberg Handicapidræt (in Danish). Frederiksberg Handicapidræt. 2007. Retrieved July 23, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Paralympic Classification Today". International Paralympic Committee. 22 April 2010. p. 3. 
  13. ^ a b "Rio 2016 Classification Guide" (PDF). International Paralympic Committee. International Paralympic Committee. March 2016. Retrieved July 22, 2016. 
  14. ^ "CLASSIFICATION Information for Athletes" (PDF). Sydney Australia: Australian Paralympic Committee. 2 July 2010. Retrieved 19 November 2011. 
  15. ^ "Australian Athletics Classification Masterlist" (PDF). Sydney, Australia: Australian Paralympic Committee. 3 November 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2011.