Paratriathlon is a fast developing disability sport that made it’s Paralympic debut for the first time at the 2016 Rio Games.
Unfortunately this did not include visually impaired men and some other categories, but hopefully Tokyo 2020 will see this rectified.
Paratriathlons are held over the sprint distance with a 750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run.
Events are run at local, national, European and World level, with more events being added to the calendar each year.
Competitors are classified into a specific category depending on the type of impairment/functional ability. 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 an elasticated rope, complete the bike leg on a tandem and then run side-by-side. See the Guides page for more details about how this works.
Visually impaired athletes are 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.