This classification is for disability athletics. This classification is one of several classifications for athletes with ambulant related disabilities. Similar classifications are T40, T42, T44, T45 and T46. Jane Buckley, writing for the Sporting Wheelies, describes the athletes in this classification as: "Double below knee amputation (or combined arm/leg amputation) or similar disability." The Australian Paralympic Committee defines this classification as being for athletes who have the "Double leg, below knee amputation. Combined lower plus upper limb amputations. Normal function in throwing arm." The International Paralympic Committee defined this class in 2011 as: "Double below knee amputees and other athletes with impairments that are comparable to a double below knee amputation. This includes athletes with loss of muscle power in the lower limbs consistent with Class F57 or F58." The International Paralympic Committee defined this classification on their website in July 2016 as, "(Lower limb affected by limb deficiency, leg length difference, impaired muscle power or impaired range of movement)".
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."
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. 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.
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.
Oscar Pistorius is the men's world record holder for T43 in the 400 metres event. With a 400 metres time of 45.07 seconds recorded on 19 July 2011, he achieved the "A" qualifying requirement for the 2011 World Championships and the 2012 Summer Olympics. In London 2012, Pistorius became the first amputee to run at the Summer Olympic Games.
In the 2012 London Paralympics, Pistorius set a new world record in the first-round heats of the 200 metres T43/T44 event, finishing with a time of 21.30s. However, he was defeated in the final by Brazilian runner Alan Oliveira with a time of 21.45. Alan Oliveira currently holds the 100m T44 world record after winning the Paralympic Anniversary Games in London with a time of 10.57.
- 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.
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- Tweedy, Sean (16 July 2010). "Research Report - IPC Athletics Classification Project for Physical Impairments" (PDF). Queensland, Australiaa: International Paralympic Committee. p. 41. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
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- "Paralympic Classification Today". International Paralympic Committee. 22 April 2010. p. 3.
- "Rio 2016 Classification Guide" (PDF). International Paralympic Committee. International Paralympic Committee. March 2016. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
- "CLASSIFICATION Information for Athletes" (PDF). Sydney Australia: Australian Paralympic Committee. 2 July 2010. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
- Pistorius, Oscar (2012). Blade runner. London: Virgin. p. 145. ISBN 9780753540855. OCLC 782993965.
- PISTORIUS Oscar, International Paralympic Committee, archived from the original on 10 August 2012, retrieved 9 August 2012
- Robert Klemko (2012-08-10). "Oscar Pistorius makes history, leaves without medal". USA Today.
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- Chowdhury, Saj (2 September 2012), Paralympics 2012: Oscar Pistorius beaten by Alan Oliveira in 200m, retrieved 8 September 2012