Encyclopedia of Sport: Every sport from around the world

Paratriathlon

The paratriathlon is yet another variation of the traditional triathlon of swim, bike, and run. This event in particular is designed for athletes with physical disabilities. The event involves a 750 m swim, a 20 km bike with handcycles, bicycles or tandems with a guide, and a 5 km wheelchair or running race.

The athletes compete in categories based on their physical disabilities. As of 2013, there are seven different classes. TRI-1: wheelchair user; TRI-2: Severe leg impairment with above knee amputation; Tri-3: Les Autres, (i.e. athletes with multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, double leg amputation, or paralysis of the limbs); TRI-4: Arm impairments; TRI-5: Moderate leg impairment with amputation below the knee; TRI-6: Visual Impairment.

In order to fairly judge athletes in the event, a points system is used for sitting, standing or visually impaired classes.

The International Triathlon Union (ITU) governs the sport. There is an annual Triathlon World Championships hosted by the ITU. Paratriathlon was first held at the Paralympics as an official event in the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Interesting Fact: Those who are visually impaired compete in the bike stag of the paratriathlon with a guide in the front.

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