About Paratriathlon

Paratriathlon is a fast developing disability sport that will be included in the Paralympics for the first time in 2016 over the sprint distance!

Unfortunately, the PTS male category for visually impaired athletes will not be included following a decision by the ITU/IPC at the end of 2014.

Like a standard triathlon there is a swim (750m), bike (20km) and run (5km) component for each athletes to complete.

Athletes can currently race at a local, national, European and World level, with more events being added each year.

The International Triathlon Union (ITU) has introduced a new classification system from 2014. Athletes are placed in one of five categories according to the type of disability and level of impairment affecting them. Muscle power, range of movement, muscle tone, movement co-ordination and other physical limitation such as limb length or visual acuity are assessed to determine eligibility and the most appropriate category. The five categories are: –

Category Broad Description
PT1 Wheelchair athletes
PT2-4 Standing athletes with specific category determined by function/severity of impairment.
PT5 Visually impaired and blind athletes

For more information on the classification system see the ITU’s rules here.

Visually impaired athletes compete with a guide. They swim tethered together by a rope, complete the bike leg on a tandem and then run side-by-side. See the Guides page for details about how this works.

Visually impaired athletes complete as one group in triathlon but sub-divided into three levels commonly used in other sports: –

B1 (Blind) – Inability to recognise form of hand in any direction or distance

B2 (Partially sighted) – Ability to recognise shape of a hand to a visual acuity of 2/60 and/or a visual field of <5 degrees

B3 (Visually Impaired) – A visual acuity of >2/60 up to 6/60 and/or a visual field of >5 degrees and <20 degrees

The B1 athletes are given a ‘factor’ to compensate for variation in sight levels of 3:16 seconds over the B2’s and B3’s.

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