The ITU have released there updated rules for 2016. For Paratriathlon there are a few notable changes, especially for the PT5 Visually impaired (B2/3) and Blind (B1) athletes. The key things are: –
- B1 Athletes must now wear blackout goggles/glasses basically for the duration of the event – This seems sensible/fair to me since the B1’s get 3:18 head-start because they cannot see so it shouldn’t be a problem, but I realise some people will object as they feel it calls into question their honesty etc.
- ‘At no time is the guide allowed to have physical contact with the athlete’ except in technical sections for safety reasons – seems fair enough
- Guides are subject to drug testing alongside athletes – They always could be tested but I don’t think this was ever clearly stated and to my knowledge a guide has never been tested, but I could be wrong.
- The ITU will provide athletes with a swim tether, thus standardising this aspect of the sport – This is probably a good thing and should negate the need for officials to exam tethers at every event
Well done ITU. I think these are sensible changes and should be positive for the sport, seemingly taking into account athlete feedback, which is great.
Whether I get to race under the new rules in ITU Paratri events remains unclear. However, since I am doing a few longer races this year, I took a peak at the Middle Distance rules too. Highlights included: –
- The course should have ‘demanding hills and challenging technical aspects’ – Yeah!
- A 5 minute penalty will be awarded for drafting on the bike – How many people will be tempted to jump on the wheel of a fast moving tandem to get a tow?
- Don’t get nude in transition – spoil sports!