Para triathlon was one of the new sports introduced at the last Summer Paralympic Games, which took place in Rio. Paralympic events are held over the ‘sprint’distance, which is half the length of the Olympic distance for individual competitions. Athletes swim 750m, cycle 20km and run 5km.
Para triathlon is a relatively new sport that is evolving very rapidly. This open air sport may be a new feature at the Paralympic Games, but it is already proving to be a remarkable success.
Brief overview of the rules
In the seated class, athletes use a handcycle (a bike powered by the arms) on the bike segment and a racing wheelchair on the running segment. Handlers assist them in transition areas (from swim to bike and from bike to run), as these phases are a key aspect of any triathlon event. Vision impaired triathletes are accompanied by a guide throughout the event and use a tandem on the bike segment. In standing classes, athletes can use prosthetic legs or make modifications to their bike, depending on their impairment.
Functional impairments (standing or in a wheelchair), vision impairments, blindness.
International Triathlon Union (ITU): www.triathlon.org
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