Paralympic Sports A-Z: Canoe
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Paralympic Sports A-Z: Canoe

November 17, 2019

Para canoe emerged in 2009 through an initiative by the International Canoe Federation to provide people with an impairment the opportunity to participate competitively at the highest level in the sport. Canoe’s Paralympic debut is Rio 2016 Athletes in kayaks must complete a straight 200m course across calm waters in the fastest possible time. Athletes line up at the start and race over a 200m course after the electronic start gate system is released. The winner is the athlete who covers the distance quickest. The kayaks are up to 5.2m long, with a minimum width of 50cm and weigh at least 12kg. Kayaks are a single seated boat, which the forward facing athlete propels down the course. The athlete uses a double-bladed paddle that is pulled down the side of the kayak on alternate sides to create a balanced forward motion. Athletes accrue classification points according to their ability to move their legs and torso, and based on on-water evaluation. The higher the number of points, the less severe the athlete’s limitations are. Athletes are separated into three classes. KL1 (up to 3 points) KL2 (4-7 points) KL 3 (8 or 9 points) Officials both on and off the water ensure that the race meets with international standards

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