Athletics at the Paralympic Games

Athletics is a combination of track and field events for both men and women, of all impairment groups. Played by both individuals and teams, athletics has been at the Paralympic games right from the start, which was during 1960 in Rome. Within the next 20 years, after the athletics debut at the Paralympic games, more and more impairment groups were added. Today, disabled athletes in over 120 countries compete in athletics, making it the number one most practiced Paralympic sport.

In track events, the athlete that completes the event in the fastest time wins. But, in field events the winner is not always the athlete who throws the specified item furthest. Each event will take into account the extent of an athlete’s impairment and their distance thrown. They get points for this total, and the winner is the athlete with the most points.

There are a range of track events at the Paralympics such as sprints, middle and long distance races, relay races. Then there are the field events which are the high jump, long jump, triple jump, discus throw, shot put and javelin. Not to forget the single road event which is the marathon race, and the combination of events known as the pentathlon.

a paralympic sprinter at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games a paralympic sprinter at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games

Jason Smyth set a world record for the 100m sprint in the London 2012 Olympics. Since then he has been known as the Paralympic Usain Bolt, having clocked an impressive 10.46 seconds with only 10% vision.


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