Paratriathlon is a version of the triathlon for athletes with physical impairment, and is governed by the International Triathlon Union (ITU). It will become a Paralympic event at the Rio 2016 Summer Paralympics.

At the Summer Paralympics this will be a sprint race with a 750m swim, 20 km cycle leg, and 5 km run. The cycle leg will be covered using bicycles, handcycles, tandem bicycles, or tricycles with a guide, and the 5 km run leg will be covered by wheelchair or by running. There are six categories according to the nature of the physical impairments.

All paratriathletes may compete in duathlon, triathlon and aquathlon events. Paratriathletes from category TRI1 are not allowed to compete in winter triathlon, cross triathlon and cross duathlon events.

Usually all the categories start together. With events with more than 100 entries, there should be two start waves with athletes grouped together by category and gender

Para duathlon events will typically have a 5 km run, 20 km bike ride, and finish with a 2.5 km run.

Para aquathlon events will typically have a 2.5 km run, 1 km swim, and finish with a 2.5 km run.

As of June 2013 there are seven classes:


For wheelchair users: paraplegic, quadriplegic, Polio, double leg amputee and other impairments that rule out a leg pedalled bicycle. A handcycle is used for the cycling stage and a racing wheelchair on the run stage.


For athletes with severe leg impairment: including above knee amputation. A conventional bicycle is used for the cycle stage, and above-knee prosthesis or crutches used for the run stage.


For Les Autres: includes athletes with muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, double leg amputation or paralysis in multiple limbs. A conventional bicycle or a tricycle for the cycle stage, and leg braces or prosthesis for the run stage.


For athletes with arm impairments: includes amputation, paralysis or other impairment in one or both arms. A conventional bicycle (braces are allowed), and prosthesis or slings may be used on either or both the cycle and run stages.


For athletes with Moderate leg impairment: including below knee amputation. A conventional bicycle and may use braces or prosthesis on the run stage.


For athletes who are totally blind or who may be able to perceive light but not distinguish the shape of a hand at any distance or direction. They will use a tandem bicycle with a guide of the same gender.


For athletes with visual acuity of less than 6/60 or field of less than 40 degrees with correction. They will use a tandem bicycle with a guide of the same gender.

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Derived in part from the Wikipedia page Paratriathlon.

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