Brent Lakatos in a racing chair

Para athletics, also known as track and field, is the largest competition at the Paralympic Games.  Events are available for physical Impairments – both seated and standing - athletes with visual impairments, as well as those who are intellectually impaired. Contested events are held in track racing, throwing as well as marathon

  • Track events: Sprint (100m, 200m, 400m), Middle Distance (800m, 1500m), Long Distance (5,000m, 10,000m), and Relay races (4x100m)
  • Road event: Marathon
  • Jumping events: High Jump, Long Jump, and Triple Jump
  • Throwing events: Discus, Shot Put, Club Throw and Javelin

The rules of Paralympic track and field are almost identical to those of its Olympic counterparts.  Allowances are made to accommodate certain impairments (for example, blind and visually-impaired runners may compete with guide runners attached to them by a tether at the wrist). 

Canada has a rich history in para athletics and its athletes have reached the podium at every Paralympic Games since 1968. Wheelchair racer Chantal Petitclerc is the most successful Canadian track Paralympian with 21 medals earned at the Games. She was awarded the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada’s athlete of the year in 2008, a first for a female athlete with a disability.

Para Athletics is governed by the International Paralympic Committee. Athletics Canada is the National Sport Federation.

 

Track and jump (prefix T for Track)

Discipline: Running and jumping (20 classes)

Sport Classes (Impairment types):

T11-13 (Vision impairment)

T20 (Intellectual impairment)

T35-38 (Co-ordination impairments (hypertonia, ataxia and athetosis))

T40-41 (Short stature)

T42-44 (Lower limb competing without prosthesis affected by limb deficiency, leg length difference, impaired muscle power or impaired passive range of movement)

T45-47 (Upper limb/s affected by limb deficiency, impaired muscle power or impaired passive range of movement)

T61-64 (Lower limb/s competing with prosthesis affected by limb deficiency and leg length difference)

 

DISCIPLINE: Wheelchair racing (7 classes)

SPORT CLASSES (Impairment types):

T32-34 (Co-ordination impairments (hypertonia, ataxia and athetosis)

T51-54 (Limb deficiency, leg length difference, impaired muscle power or impaired passive range of movement)

 

Throws (Prefix F for Field)

Discipline: Standing throws (19 classes)

Sport Classes (Impairment types):

F11-13 (Vision impairment)

F20 (Intellectual impairment)

F35-38 (Co-ordination impairments (hypertonia, ataxia and athetosis))

F40-41 (Short stature)

F42-44 (Lower limb competing without prosthesis affected by limb deficiency, leg length difference, impaired muscle power or impaired passive range of movement)

F45-46 (Upper limb/s affected by limb deficiency, impaired muscle power or impaired passive range of movement)

F61-64 (Lower limb/s competing with prosthesis affected by limb deficiency and leg length difference)

 

Discipline: Seated throws (11 classes)

Sport Classes (Impairment types):

F31-34 (Co-ordination impairments (hypertonia, ataxia and athetosis))

F51-57 (Limb deficiency, leg length difference, impaired muscle power or impaired range of movement)