A Guide to the Paralympics
With the Athletics at the Paralympics only days away and the opening ceremony tonight lets have a closer look into the Para’s.
Para athletics differs significantly from athletics at the Olympics as athletes are placed into competition categories (called sport classes) according to how much their impairment affects sports performance.
Athletics is open to athletes with an eligible physical, intellectual or vision impairment. In athletics the sport class consists of a prefix “T” or “F” and a number.
The prefix T stands for “track”, marathon and jumping events, and F stands for “field.” It indicates for which events the sport class applies, either for track/jump/marathon or for field events.
Classes are divided in terms of type (indicated by the first digit) and level of impairment. In general, the lower the second digit, the higher the level of impairment.
- T/F11, T/F12 and T/F13 are for vision impaired athletes.
- T/F20 is for athletes with an intellectual impairment.
- T/F30 classes are for athletes with coordination impairment (involuntary movements, uncoordinated movements and/or muscle tension) often due to cerebral palsy or brain injury.
- Classes T/F31, T/F32, T/F33 and T/F34 are for athletes competing in a wheelchair.
- Classes T/F35, T/F36, T/F37 and T/F38 are for athletes competing in standing position.
- T/F40 and T/F41 are for athletes of short stature.
- T/F42, T/F43 and T/F44 are for athletes with a leg deficiency, leg length difference, impaired muscle power or impaired passive range of movement in the legs, with athletes competing in a standing position.
- T/F45, T/F46 and T/F47 are for athletes with arm deficiency, impaired muscle power or impaired passive range of movement in arms, with athletes competing in a standing position.
- T/F51, T/F52, T/F53, T/F54, T/F55, T/F56 and T/F57 are for athletes with impaired muscle power, restricted range of movement, limb deficiency or leg length difference, with athletes competing in seated position e.g. with cervical cord injury, spinal cord injury, amputation, functional disorder.
- T/F61, T/F62, T/F63 and T/F64 are for athletes with a leg amputation, who compete with prosthetics in a standing position.
Athletics starts this Friday at 12.30pm (NZ time)