By Paula Kim on 01/10/10 at 10:29 pm
ITU today officially announced the appointment of Marguerite Christophers of New Zealand as the Head of Classification for Paratriathlon. Classification governs physically challenged competition categories, which are established based on physical disabilities. In Paratriathlon, athletes are classified into one of six categories:
• TRI 1 - Handcycle: Paraplegic, Quadriplegic, Polio, Double Leg Amputee. Must use handcycle on bike course and racing wheelchair on run.
• TRI 2 - Severe leg impairment including above knee amputees. Athlete must ride bicycle and run with above knee prosthesis (or similar prosthesis) or run using crutches.
• TRI 3 - Les Autre: This category includes athletes with Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebral Palsy, double leg amputee runners or paralysis in multiple limbs. Athlete will ride a bicycle and run. Athlete may use braces or prosthesis if required.
• TRI 4 - Arm impairment including paralysis, above-elbow amputees and below-elbow amputees, or impairment in both upper limbs. Athlete may use prosthesis, brace or sling on the bike and/or run.
• TRI 5 - Moderate leg impairment including below-knee amputees. Athlete rides bicycle and runs with prosthesis.
• TRI 6 - Visual Impairment, legally Blind (20/200 vision with best corrective vision). A handler of the same sex is mandatory throughout the race. Athlete is tethered during the swim and run. Athlete uses a tandem bicycle.
Already a member of ITU’s Paratriathlon Committee, the duties of Christophers’ new post include administering and coordinating all classification matters relating to Paratriathlon and overseeing classifier training and certification. Head of Classification is a voluntary role and Christophers will continue as Paralympics New Zealand Classification Coordinator. She has also served as Head Classifier for New Zealand Paratriathlon and Paracycling.
Continuing to drive towards inclusion in the Paralympic Games, ITU has supported the development and growth of Paratriathlon for over 15 years. A World Championship has been contested every year since 2003. Paratriathlon has already grown to unprecedented levels with 12 events in 2010, up from 7 in 2009.