By Erin Greene on 05/05/14 at 9:45 am
It was a very busy triathlon week at Subic Bay Philippines from April 24-27. Subic Bay Asia Cup TD and a veteran of the 2012 & 2013 World Paratriathlon Championships Daniel Sng of Singapore facilitated the Paratriathlon TO Course the afternoon of April 24.
This was attended by 18 NTOs and CTOs from the Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Uzbekistan who were there to officiate the ITU Subic Bay International Triathlon Asia Cup and the concurrent 2014 Asian Paratriathlon Championships, which was held on Saturday, April 26.
Daniel explained: “While most of these guys had experience working the 2013 Asian Para Triathlon Championships here in Subic, they needed an update on new rules and procedures applicable to Paratriathlon races.”
One of the notable participants was Datuk Balwant Singh Kler, ASTC Secretary General and a Level III TO.
“This is very good for triathlon in Asia. We need to bring Paratriathlon up to world standard. This is an excellent learning experience,” he said.
Also on hand were Marguerite Christophers of New Zealand and Peter Saggall of Australia, who was working as a triathlon classifier for the first time. Marguerite was at the TO Course to share other insights on paratriathlon and to explain the new PT Classification system.
She elaborated; “The former TRI 1-6 system was an impairment based classification which was deemed unfair by the IPC. We are here to implement the new paratriathlon (or PT 1-5) classification system, which is based on ability. A series of tests and evaluations determine an athlete’s ability and so in the new system one legged athletes could be competing against one armed athletes or those with cerebral palsy. It is a much more fair system. We have, however, retained the wheel chair and visually impaired categories.”
The following day, April 25, Marguerite and Peter evaluated and classified 11 athletes from the Philippines, Malaysia, Korea, and Japan that were going to compete the next day at the Asoan Paratriathlon Championships. She further remarked: “After we classify them, these will be validated and the results sent to the athletes and NFs. We were heartened by many of the paratriathletes who do not use prosthesis or other equipment but deal with their disabilities directly.”
These athletes racing under the old TRI System for the last time thrilled and touched the crowd the next morning, April 26, at the APC 2014 impressing everyone with their courage and determination. Many of them hope to compete at the World Championships in Edmonton and eventually in the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro.