If you aspire to compete in Paratriathlon at either a National or International Level, the most important thing you need is a classification.
This enables you to understand if you are eligible to compete and if so who you will be competing against and in what format you will compete in the sport. There are six sport classes in paratriathlon:
- PTWC - Wheelchair users. Athletes must use a recumbent handcycle on the bike course and a racing wheelchair on the run segment. There are two sub-classes, H1 (most impaired) and H2 (least impaired);
- PTS2 - Severe impairments. In both bike and run segments, amputee athletes may use approved prosthesis or other supportive devices.
- PTS3 - Significant impairments. In both bike and run segments, the athlete may use approved prosthesis or other supportive devices.
- PTS4 - Moderate impairments. In both bike and run segments, the athlete may use approved prosthesis or other supportive devices..
- PTS5 - Mild impairments. In both bike and run segments, the athlete may use approved prosthesis or other supportive devices..
- PTVI - Total or Partial visual Impairment (IBSA/IPC defined sub-classes B1, B2, and B3): A guide from the same nationality and gender is mandatory throughout the race. Must ride a tandem during the bike segment.
For greater detail on each of these classifications please visit the ITU website.
Classification - Physically Impaired Athletes
The actual process for being classified is quite simple but the time taken can vary depending upon the nature of each athlete’s impairment so if you are being classified be prepared that the appointment may take between 30minutes and two hours. British Triathlon has a team of classifiers who conduct the process, and these individuals are either trained physiotherapists or technical classifiers (often specially trained coaches). The process will test your ability and give you an outcome based on your tested ability rather than your disability.
Athlete Evaluation Process
The Athlete Evaluation process consists of the following:
- Physical Assessment: The classification panel should conduct a Physical Assessment of the athlete, to establish whether the athlete has an Eligible Impairment that meets the relevant Minimum Disability Criteria.
- Technical Assessment: The Classification Panel should conduct a Technical Assessment of the athlete which may include, but is not limited to, an assessment of the athlete’s ability to perform, in a non competitive environment, specific tasks and activities that are part of triathlon (swim, bike and/or run)
- Observation Assessment: The purpose of observation is to ensure that the result from the athlete’s physical and technical assessments is reflected in the athlete’s ability to perform in the competition.
Athletes must dress appropriately in sports clothes and bring all supportive equipment (prosthesis, orthoses, slings, etc.) to the classification appointment, including their bike, handbike and racing wheelchairs.
Athletes should bring all relevant paperwork to their appointment to include:
- Physical Impairments Medical Diagnostic Form, completed by their medical doctor
- Consent for classification form
- A passport sized photo must be submitted (you may submit a digital “passport style” photograph in advance)
- Other relevant and recent medical information. This could include, but should not be limited to: medical letters and reports detailing medical history, results of radiological examinations, and other diagnostic tests relevant to the athlete’s medical condition
You will be supplied with the Physical Impairments form and Consent for Classification by British Triathlon when you your classification appointment is confirmed.
At the conclusion of the process you will either be given a Sport Class (classification category) or deemed to be non-eligible. Non-Eligibility for classification does not mean that an individual doesn’t have an impairment, but the degree of such impairment does not meet the minimum disability criteria established by the sport.
If you wish to read the ITU Paratriathlon Classification Rules and Regulations in greater depth please refer to the manual here.
Where can you be classified?
British Triathlon aims to put on as many opportunities as possible throughout the year for new athletes to be classified. These events will be linked to the following activities:
- National Championships
- Talent Identification Initiatives
- Classification Only event
If you would like to be classified please contact Alasdair Donaldson to indicate that you would like to be classified, including details of your impairment.
Classification - Visually Impaired Athletes
Classification for visually impaired athletes works slightly differently to that explained above, as we don’t need to assess a physical impairment, therefore we work together with British Blind Sport (BBS) to ensure athletes have ample opportunities to be classified.
You will need to complete a sight classification form which can be found on the BBS website. The BBS website then explains what you need to do to have this form completed; the paper work will then need to be checked and signed off by the British Triathlon Chief Classifier. The opportunities for this to be done are the same as previously mentioned. Triathlon will accept classes B1, B2 and B3 for paratriathlon competition; all other classes will not be eligible for paratriathlon competition.
List of Classified British Paratriathletes
Download the a list of all British Paratriathletes who have been classified either at National or International Level