IPC and ITU announce categories for 2020 Tokyo Paralympics
The International Paralympic Committee and International Triathlon Union have confirmed the Paratriathlon categories that will compete at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Building on the six medal categories in Rio, there will now be eight in Tokyo.
The following categories will be included in Tokyo, with women’s wheelchair athletes and male visually impaired athletes getting an opportunity to race at Paralympic level for the first time.
Male categories: PTWC, PTS4, PTS5, PTVI Female categories: PTWC, PTS2, PTS5, PTVI
National Manager Paratriathlon, Kathryn Periac said, “The announcement of the 8 medal events for the Tokyo Paralympic Games brings great opportunity for some of Australia’s finest paratriathletes. Yet at the same time the limited number of medal events, a full ITU program would be 12 medal events, means several great Australian paratriathletes will miss the opportunity to compete in Tokyo simply because their class is not included.”
Successful Australians this impacts, include;
Triathlon Australia would like to acknowledge the outstanding contributions on and off the triathlon stage over many years of these athletes and while not able to contest in Tokyo we look forward to their continued participation in the sport.
There is a finite number of athletes in all sports that can compete at a Paralympic Games and the International Paralympic Committee work with the International Federations, for triathlon the ITU, to identify which events will be included at each Paralympic Games.
Competition continues to be held in all ITU classes at World Cups, World Paratriathlon Series and World Championships.
An opportunity now exists for potential paratriathletes out there with the right background to transfer into the sport, race in summer 2019 and potentially qualify for the team in 2020. Triathlon Australia are especially seeking female athletes to potentially represent in Tokyo in the PTS2 category, we currently have no one competing in this classification.
This category is defined as above knee amputation/impairment, cerebral palsy and/or a combination of impairments. If you need any evidence it can be done, 2016 Rio Paralympians Katie Kelly (gold) and Kate Doughty (5th) had their first paratriathlon races in summer 2015.
Of the 8 medal classes included Australia has the following athletes racing at international level. Each of them will now have the opportunity to compete for qualification and selection for the Australian Paralympic Team.
PTWC Women and Men (Wheelchair)
The PTWC men were included in Rio and the women were not.
PTVI Women and Men (Vision Impaired)
The women’s PTVI were included in Rio, while the men were not.
PTS5 Men and Women
Both male and female athletes in this class were included in Rio.
Australia currently has no athletes competing in this class.
There is the opportunity for someone with the right background to take up the challenge of triathlon and qualify and succeed in Tokyo.
In 2015 three Australian female athletes had their first paratriathlon races in summer, and by September at the World Championships were on the podium (Katie Kelly, Kate Doughty, Emily Tapp) – it is possible to transfer rapidly with success.
In this class athletes with an above knee amputation or similar, or significant cerebral palsy are eligible to compete. A combination of different lesser impairments may also see someone classified into this class.
The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games will feature 4,400 athletes who will contest 540 medal events across 22 sports. The Games will take place between 25 August and 6 September 2020.
Text: Triathlon Australia
Image: Delly Carr