The sport of triathlon continues to grow with Paratriathlon getting closer to its Olympic debut in 2016. ITU has announced that qualification criteria for athletes has now been agreed for the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Qualifying spots will be allocated to each National Paralympic Committee (NPC) through the 2015 ITU World Championships and ITU Paralympic Qualification, with the host nation of Brazil also allowed to directly qualify one male and one female athlete.
“Paratriathlon’s entry into the Paralympic Games will be a watershed moment for our sport,” said Marisol Casado, president of the International Triathlon Union and International Olympic Committee member.
A confirmation of medal events will be announced later this year but a maximum of 60 athletes will compete in Rio.
For the moment classification has been made as follows: category TRI1 includes all wheelchair users, including people with paraplegia, quadriplegia and both legs amputated. In this category, handcycles are used for cycling and special wheelchairs for races.
Category TRI2 is for athletes with more severe impairments in their legs, athletes with amputations and impairments above the knees. In this class, participants use prosthetics for pedaling and running.
Category TRI3 is called les autres (“the others” in French), and includes participants with various impairments, such as multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy. These athletes, if necessary, may use a tricycle and run with prosthetics.
Participants in categories TRI4 and TRI5 are athletes with physical disabilities in their arms and below the knee, respectively. In both cases, it is obligatory to use a conventional bicycle, with adaptations, or use a prosthesis if necessary.
Category TRI6 includes visually impaired athletes, who must be accompanied by an athlete guide throughout the whole race.
The period for athletes to attain performances to be recorded on the ITU Male and Female Paralympic Qualification Lists begins on July 1 2015 with the ITU Paratriathlon World Championships taking place in September 2015 in Chicago.
For more information on qualifying criteria for the 2016 Paralympic games see: https://www.paralympic.org.