Paralympic Sports A-Z: Athletics
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Paralympic Sports A-Z: Athletics

November 17, 2019

Athletics has been part of the Paralympic
Games since 1960 and offers a wide range of competitions and events. It is open to male
and female athletes in all impairment groups. Classifications start with “T” for track
or “F” for field. Track events include all distances from 100m
through to marathon, as well as high jump, long jump and triple jump.
Field events include, discus, shot put, javelin and the club throw which is unique to para-athletics.
This is followed by a double-digit number. The first number indicates the type of impairment,
and the second number indicates the degree. The lower the second number, the greater the
impact of the impairment on the athlete’s ability to do track or field events.
T and F 11-13 are for athletes with a visual impairment Rope tethers or other devices may be used
by runners to link with their sighted guides. Only in the last 10m can they be apart and
the athlete must finish ahead of the guide runner or face disqualification.
An assistant may be used to act as a caller to provide acoustic orientation to indicate
take-off in jumping events or throwing target areas. T20 athletes have an intellectual impairment. In the T thirties, athletes have a co-ordination
impairment, such as cerebral palsy. T32-34 compete in wheelchair racing, and F31-34
in seated throws, whilst T and F35-38 compete standing.
T40-41 athletes have short stature. T42-44 athletes have an impairment in one
or both legs, often requiring a prosthetic, but it also includes athletes with impaired
muscle power, impaired range of movement or leg length difference.
In classes T45-47, athletes have an impairment in one or both arms. T51-54 athletes compete in wheelchair racing
due to a leg impairment or loss of muscle power in the legs and/or trunk. For field
events, these athletes are split over classes F51-57 competing in seated throws. They also
have a limb impairment, for example from a spinal cord injury.
Whether you want to see athletes run 100m in just over 10 seconds, marvel at a high
jumper with one leg clearing 2 metres, or a thrower propelling a discuss nearly 50 metres,
this is the sport for you.

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  1. hello i would like to be a player in Football 7-a-side sport because i had watched this video before i motivated to make a decision to engage forward to participate in the international tournaments and events espicially when the man have talked about the process scouting players knowing that i am from Algeria and i suffer from a disability walking crippling my pleasure your sincerly bendjedah abdenour

  2. Hello ! This a very nice video, I like your series " Paralympic Sports A-Z". Would you mind if I traduce it in French for my Facebook page, giving – of course – the credits ? Thank you, best regards.

  3. Thanks for the classification which comes from our rehabilitation medicine and sports medicine groups in assessing the athletes for strenuous schedules and competitions. Track and field events, the core of "high school sports", offer a range of opportunities from discus to long and high jumps, hurdles, and traditional track running events. At "community integration" (wikipedia), these events continue to be competition by males and females, as opposed to "co-ed" or "mixed gender" sports, which is being challenged by new concepts of "gender integration". The running events and road events in the US come from this tradition. Julie Ann Racino September 2016

  4. Is anyone here on Facebook? If you are come and join us to socialize at the International disABILITY Forum (

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