Athletics

Athletics

images of Athletics

Paralympic Sports

Athletics

  • Track
  • Field
  • Marathon

Striving to be even a fraction of a second faster
Athletes tap their own potential as they become one with their prosthesis and caller.

OVERVIEW

Paralympic athletics has been an official sport since the first Paralympic Games were held in Rome in 1960. Athletes with a broad range of impairments compete in events that accommodate the largest number of participants at the summer Games.

Paralympic athletics differs significantly from similar events at the Olympics due to its use of classes (classification), which are utilised to facilitate fair races under conditions that are as equal as possible for athletes with disabilities ranging from visual and intellectual impairments to paralysis and limb deficiency. Athletes are divided into classes based on criteria such as the type and extent of their impairment and motor function, and races are held either by class or for combined classes that encompass athletes from “adjacent” classes.

Track events include short-, medium- and long-distance races as well as relays (4x100 metre and 4x400 metre) but are not fixed since the question of which events and classes are held is examined and determined on a competition-by-competition basis in light of factors such as the number of participating athletes.

The rules are generally the same as for Olympic athletics, with some changes to reflect factors such as the nature of competitors' impairments and the characteristics of the event in question. Athletes challenge their limits by striving to shave even a fraction of a second off their personal best time while compensating for their impairment.

Classification

Class Type of impairment
T/F11
T/F12
T/F13
Visual impairment Severe↑Minor
T/F20 Intellectual impairment
T/F31
T/F32
T/F33
T/F34
Cerebral palsy(wheelchair) Severe↑Minor
T/F35
T/F36
T/F37
T/F38
Cerebral palsy(standing) Severe↑Minor
T/F40
T/F41
Short stature Severe↑Minor
Class Type of impairment
T/F42
T/F43
T/F44
Lower limb deficiency Severe↑Minor
T/F45
T/F46
T47
Upper limb deficiency Severe↑Minor
T/F51
T/F52
T/F53
T/F54
F55
F56
F57
Wheelchair other than cerebral palsy
(Cervical cord injury, spinal cord injury, amputation, functional disorder)
Severe↑Minor

Table prepared to reflect international competition standards based on classification tables used at the Japan Para Championships.

International Federation: International Association of Athletics Federations(Open in a new window)

Event Programme

  • 100m T11 (Men/Women)
  • 100m T12 (Men/Women)
  • 100m T13 (Men/Women)
  • 100m T33 (Men)
  • 100m T34 (Men/Women)
  • 100m T35 (Men/Women)
  • 100m T36 (Men/Women)
  • 100m T37 (Men/Women)
  • 100m T38 (Men/Women)
  • 100m T47 (Men/Women)
  • 100m T51 (Men)
  • 100m T52 (Men/Women)
  • 100m T53 (Men/Women)
  • 100m T54 (Men/Women)
  • 100m T63 (Men/Women)
  • 100m T64 (Men/Women)
  • 200m T11 (Women)
  • 200m T12 (Women)
  • 200m T35 (Men/Women)
  • 200m T36 (Women)
  • 200m T37 (Men/Women)
  • 200m T47 (Women)
  • 200m T51 (Men)
  • 200m T61 (Men)
  • 200m T64 (Men/Women)
  • 400m T11 (Men/Women)
  • 400m T12 (Men/Women)
  • 400m T13 (Men/Women)
  • 400m T20 (Men/Women)
  • 400m T36 (Men)
  • 400m T37 (Men/Women)
  • 400m T38 (Men/Women)
  • 400m T47 (Men/Women)
  • 400m T52 (Men)
  • 400m T53 (Men/Women)
  • 400m T54 (Men/Women)
  • 400m T62 (Men)
  • 800m T34 (Men/Women)
  • 800m T53 (Men/Women)
  • 800m T54 (Men/Women)
  • 1500m T11 (Men/Women)
  • 1500m T13 (Men/Women)
  • 1500m T20 (Men/Women)
  • 1500m T38 (Men)
  • 1500m T46 (Men)
  • 1500m T52 (Men)
  • 1500m T54 (Men/Women)
  • 5000m T11 (Men)
  • 5000m T13 (Men)
  • 5000m T54 (Men/Women)
  • 4x100m Medley (Mixed)

ESSENCE OF THE SPORT

Thirty gold medallists in a 100-metre race? Competition unfolds by class...

Athletics athlete

The division of athletes into classes is undertaken to facilitate fair competition, with each competitor's class determined based on a screening by judges with expert qualifications from medical and motor function perspectives. Track event classes are expressed by the letter T followed by a two-digit number. The tens digit indicates the type of impairment, while the ones digit expresses the extent of the impairment, with smaller values indicating more severe impairments.

Event rules are based on the rules for the corresponding Olympic event, with some changes to reflect factors such as the nature of competitors' impairments and the characteristics of the event in question. For example, all athletes in class T11 (total blindness, etc.) and some athletes in class T12 (low vision) run with a guide runner who serves as a substitute for the runner's eyes by providing visual information, staying together by holding onto a rope or otherwise maintaining contact. Class T12 competitors can choose whether to run with a guide runner or alone. Guide runners guide the athlete to the finish line while verbally communicating information about the course, times and surroundings, with athlete safety as their top priority. Leading the runner or crossing the finish line ahead of the runner results in disqualification.

In limb deficiency classes, competitors may use a prosthesis designed for competitive use in order to aid balance. There has been remarkable progress in research and development into such aspects of prosthetic leg design as materials and shapes, and athletes may adjust them to suit their own impairment as long as they conform to the rules. However, such prostheses are stiffer than you might imagine, so athletes must develop enough muscle strength and technique that they can withstand the bouncing force transmitted to their body by the prosthesis and utilise that energy to compete successfully. Those factors translate into differences in the race times of athletes who are using the same model of prosthesis.

Athletics athlete

Wheelchair classes use a special wheelchair developed specifically for high-speed racing. Although the chair must have at least three wheels, it cannot incorporate windbreaks, gears, or other equipment, and it must be operated solely by means of the athlete's upper body strength, for example his or her arm strength. Parts can be customised to accommodate the athlete's impairment and build as long as they conform to the rules. The performance of racing wheelchairs, for example in terms of lightweight designs, is improving year by year, but it is essential for competitors to customise specifications such as the seat height and the size of parts used to drive the wheels. The step-by-step process of fine-tuning various parts – sometimes by only a few millimetres – is a critical part of improving results. This enables the racer to efficiently transfer power to the wheels and otherwise search for the optimal positions and settings through trial and error.

Although there are fewer events than at the Olympics, Paralympic athletics track events are characterised by numerous final races for each event, since they are organised by class. A typical example of this is the 100-metre race, which included final races for 16 men's classes and 14 women's classes at the Rio 2016 Games, yielding a total of 30 gold medal winners for that event.

OUTLOOK FOR THE TOKYO 2020 GAMES

With competitiveness improving year by year, how far can human potential go?

Athletics athlete

The number of countries and athletes competing in athletics is increasing as the scale of the Paralympics grows, leading to rapid improvements in both the level of competition and records. Some 70 new world records were set in athletics at the Rio 2016 Games.

China has exhibited overwhelming strength in track events in recent years, followed by the U.S.A. and the UK in medal rankings at the Rio 2016 Games. Other notable performers include Brazil, which showed strength in short-distance running; Thailand, which is focusing on strengthening its performance in wheelchair classes; and Kenya, a contender in medium- and long-distance running.

Many athletes compete in multiple distances. For example, women's class T54 athlete Tatyana McFadden (U.S.A.) won four gold and two silver medals in five wheelchair track events (100 metres, 400 metres, 800 metres, 1500 metres, and 5000 metres) as well as the marathon at the Rio 2016 Games. Men's class T54 athlete Marcel Hug (Switzerland) won both the 800 metres and the marathon.

While the performance of competitive racing wheelchairs is improving, the process of fitting a high-performance wheelchair to oneself so that one can fully utilise that performance remains essential in setting wheelchair event records.

Turning to track events held for visual impairment classes, two lanes are allotted for each athlete since all T11 athletes and some T12 athletes run alongside a guide runner. Consequently, only four athletes who have won preliminary races can compete in the final race, where they will vie for three medals. Guide runners' athletic ability is tested, too, and they hone their skills along with athletes in short-distance events, where their ability to keep perfect pace with their athletes from start to finish is one of the most compelling aspects of the sport.

Intellectually impaired athletes compete in a single class (T20), where competition is distinguished by the differing characteristics of individual athletes' disabilities. The rules for each event are roughly the same as for the corresponding Olympic event, and athletes compete in a separate competition. It is important for competitors to learn skills such as pacing and strategies to modulate their own performance relative to other competitors through repeated practice sessions and then to put those skills to use when they race. In recent years, the class has produced remarkable progress in terms of ever-improving records.

Running is the foundation of the sport, and participation by new athletes is increasing in all classes. It is likely that several new stars will be born in the run-up to Tokyo 2020.

TRIVIA

Question

As in the Olympics, standing athletes are considered to have finished a race the moment the trunk of their body reaches the finish line. What about athletes who compete in a wheelchair?

Answer

A:Races are judged based on the order in which the centre of the front wheel of each racer's wheelchair reaches the finish line.
Incidentally, the front wheel of each wheelchair must be in contact with the ground in front of the start line at the start of the race.

Higher, farther.
Athletes strive to be the best with their own, distinctive style.

OVERVIEW

One major distinguishing characteristic of Paralympic athletics is their division into classes (classification)*. To facilitate fair competition under conditions that are as equal as possible for athletes with a range of impairments, competitors are divided into classes based on criteria such as the type and extent of their impairment and motor function. Competition is held either by class or for combined classes that encompass athletes from similar classes.

Field events include jumping and throwing. Jumping events include the high jump, long jump and triple jump, while throwing events include the shot put, javelin throw and discuss throw, along with the club throw, a Paralympic-specific event. The question of which events and classes are held is examined and determined on a competition-by-competition basis.

The rules are generally the same as for Olympic athletics, with some changes according to the impairment class. Athletes challenge their limits by jumping or throwing one centimetre higher or farther while compensating for their impairment.

Classification

Class Type of impairment
T/F11
T/F12
T/F13
Visual impairment Severe↑Minor
T/F20 Intellectual impairment
T/F31
T/F32
T/F33
T/F34
Cerebral palsy(wheelchair) Severe↑Minor
T/F35
T/F36
T/F37
T/F38
Cerebral palsy(standing) Severe↑Minor
T/F40
T/F41
Short stature Severe↑Minor
Class Type of impairment
T/F42
T/F43
T/F44
Lower limb deficiency Severe↑Minor
T/F45
T/F46
T47
Upper limb deficiency Severe↑Minor
T/F51
T/F52
T/F53
T/F54
F55
F56
F57
Wheelchair other than cerebral palsy
(Cervical cord injury, spinal cord injury, amputation, functional disorder)
Severe↑Minor

Table prepared to reflect international competition standards based on classification tables used at the Japan Para Championships

International Federation: International Association of Athletics Federations(Open in a new window)

Event Programme

  • Long Jump T11 (Men/Women)
  • Long Jump T12 (Men/Women)
  • Long Jump T13 (Men)
  • Long Jump T20 (Men/Women)
  • Long Jump T36 (Men)
  • Long Jump T37 (Men/Women)
  • Long Jump T38 (Men/Women)
  • Long Jump T47 (Men/Women)
  • Long Jump T63 (Men/Women)
  • Long Jump T64 (Men/Women)
  • High Jump T47 (Men)
  • High Jump T63 (Men)
  • High Jump T64 (Men)
  • Club Throw F32 (Men/Women)
  • Club Throw F51 (Men/Women)
  • Discus Throw F11 (Men/Women)
  • Discus Throw F37 (Men)
  • Discus Throw F38 (Women)
  • Discus Throw F41 (Women)
  • Discus Throw F52 (Men)
  • Discus Throw F53(Women)
  • Discus Throw F55 (Women)
  • Discus Throw F56 (Men)
  • Discus Throw F57 (Women)
  • Discus Throw F64 (Men/Women)
  • Javelin Throw F13 (Men/Women)
  • Javelin Throw F34 (Men/Women)
  • Javelin Throw F38 (Men)
  • Javelin Throw F41 (Men)
  • Javelin Throw F46 (Men/Women)
  • Javelin Throw F54 (Men/Women)
  • Javelin Throw F56 (Women)
  • Javelin Throw F57 (Men)
  • Javelin Throw F64 (Men)
  • Shot Put F11 (Men)
  • Shot Put F12 (Men/Women)
  • Shot Put F20 (Men/Women)
  • Shot Put F32 (Men/Women)
  • Shot Put F33 (Men/Women)
  • Shot Put F34 (Men/Women)
  • Shot Put F35 (Men/Women)
  • Shot Put F36 (Men/Women)
  • Shot Put F37 (Men/Women)
  • Shot Put F40 (Men/Women)
  • Shot Put F41 (Men/Women)
  • Shot Put F46 (Men)
  • Shot Put F53 (Men)
  • Shot Put F54 (Women)
  • Shot Put F55 (Men)
  • Shot Put F57 (Men/Women)
  • Shot Put F63 (Men)

ESSENCE OF THE SPORT

Working with tools and assistants is a key factor in successful competition.

Athletics athlete

Jumping
All impairment classes compete in jumping events except wheelchair classes, but the specific events and classes hosted vary with each competition. Impairment classes are expressed by the letter T followed by a two-digit number that indicates the type and extent of impairment. Athletes with a visual impairment (T11/12) may compete with the aid of an assistant who provides visual information. Athletes may be accompanied by a guide who escorts them to the runway starting point or competition area and orients them as to the direction in which they must run. The athletes may also be accompanied by a caller who provides information such as the direction in which they must run or the location of the takeoff point during competition by clapping or vocal cues. In the T11 class, these two roles may be fulfilled by two people or a single person. Competitors are free to determine the method used to provide vocal cues and the location at which their caller stands, as long as their choices conform to the rules and do not interfere with competition. The long jump is distinguished by its use of a larger takeoff area instead of a takeoff board.

Only T11 athletes (total blindness, etc.) are required to wear an eye mask to ensure fairness despite differences in visual acuity. Consequently, they compete in total darkness and must rely only on the voice of the caller. They run as straight as they can along the takeoff route in the direction of the voice and then leap into the air at the position that they believe is the takeoff point. The process of building trust during daily practice sessions is essential in order to gain courage to overcome fear. It's interesting to compare different methods used by callers, which include examples such as continually clapping the hands and counting in sync with the athlete's strides.

Many athletes in limb deficiency/functional disorder classes use a prosthetic arm or leg designed to aid balance during competition, but in fact, jumping events differ from track events in that competitors are not required to use a prosthetic leg and may instead hop. Athletes search for the method that best allows them to maximise their own strength and then strive to achieve greater heights with it.

Throwing
All impairment classes compete in throwing events. Classes are expressed by the letter F followed by a two-digit number that indicates the type and extent of impairment. F11- and F12-class athletes with a visual impairment are accompanied by a guide and caller, but a single person must fulfil both roles. As with jumping events, athletes are led to the throwing circle and then oriented by clapping or vocal cues. Wheelchair-class athletes may also compete using an aid known as a throwing frame that secures their bodies with a belt or other means so that their legs and hips don't move during the throw, allowing them to complete a stable throwing movement. In short, they make the throw while seated using only their upper body strength, instead of utilising a running start or other technique. Competitors may use their own, customized frame as long as it conforms to the rules.

There is also a Paralympic-specific throwing event known as the club throw. This competition, which is designed for wheelchair-class athletes with particularly severe impairments and athletes whose arm movement is impaired, is judged on the basis of how far a bowling pin-shaped club about 40 centimetres in length and weighing 397 grams can be thrown. There are no constraints on the manner in which the club is thrown, and athletes may face away from the direction of throw if they wish.

Intellectual impairment classes are not arranged based on the extent of impairment. Competition, which occurs in the context of one class (T20 or F20), is characterised by significant differences in the characteristics of individual athletes' impairments.

OUTLOOK FOR THE TOKYO 2020 GAMES

Remarkable progress from championship to championship that sometimes rivals the Olympics

Athletics athlete

How athletes perform while utilising aids designed for each impairment class and teamwork with assistants is the most compelling aspect of para sports. Improvement in training methods and evolution in the performance of aids and other aspects of competition are driving rapid growth in the level of athletes' performances and records.

In recent years, athlete Markus Rehm (German), who runs with a prosthetic leg, has attracted significant international attention. Despite losing his right leg from the knee down in an accident when he was 14, he began competing in athletics wearing a prosthetic leg and became particularly adept at the long jump. He won the gold medal at the London 2012 Games by setting a T44 class (single below-knee amputation, etc.) record of 7.35 metres. He went on to compete against able-bodied athletes in the German national championships, which he won, and in 2015 he set a world record of 8.40 metres for the class at the IPC Athletics World Championships. This remarkable record was just one centimetre short of the able-bodied record of 8.41 metres set at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics the same year in Beijing. Expectations for a new record at the Tokyo 2020 Games are running high.

The T42 class for athletes with a single above-knee amputation, a slightly more serious impairment than Rehm's class, is also interesting. High-level competition among the event's top three athletes – Heinrich Popow (Germany), Daniel Wagner (Denmark), and Atsushi Yamamoto (Japan) – led to five world records during 2016. Popow, who holds the world record in the event (6.77 metres), dominated the Rio 2016 Games with a 6.70-metre jump but then announced his retirement at the IPC Athletics World Championships in the summer of 2017. It will be fascinating to see how the competition for medals develops at the Tokyo 2020 Games.

New world records have come similarly fast in throwing events, which are characterised by individual athletes who become world champions in multiple events. Aled Davies (UK), who has a congenital lower limb deficiency, won the gold medal in the men's 42-class discus throw at the London 2012 Games as well as in the shot put in the same class at the Rio 2016 Games. On the women's side of the sport, a pair of Tunisian athletes have established themselves as champions in the F41 shot put and discus throw and in the F32 shot put and club throw, respectively. Remarkably, Chinese athletes captured 14 gold medals in throwing events at the Rio 2016 Games.

TRIVIA

Question

If, while an athlete is competing with a prosthetic leg in the long jump, the prosthesis falls off, does the jump count?

Answer

A:Under the current rules, if an athlete's prosthesis falls off during a jump, that jump is measured from the point at which it fell to the ground (based on the mark it leaves on the ground).
However, the jump doesn't count if the prosthesis falls off before the sandpit or outside the sandpit. If an athlete's prosthesis falls off during the approach to the jump, the athlete may reattach it and start his or her approach again if there is enough time to do so.

Athletes use special wheelchairs designed for competitive racing or work together with guides to run up to and through the limit.
A unique, 42.195-kilometre drama that comes to life for each competing athlete

OVERVIEW

One major distinguishing characteristic of Paralympic athletics is their division into classes (classification) based on factors such as the type and extent of impairment and motor function. To facilitate fair competition under conditions that are as equal as possible for athletes with a range of impairments, races are held either by class or for combined classes that encompass athletes from “adjacent” classes. For the marathon, which is a road event, impairment classes are expressed as the letter T followed by a two-digit number that indicates the type and extent of impairment (for example, T11).

The marathon has been an official Paralympic event since the Stoke Mandeville and New York Games in 1984. However, the question of which events and classes are held is examined on a competition-by-competition basis while taking into consideration factors such as the number of participating athletes. For example, the marathon was held for men and women with visual impairments (T12), men with upper limb impairments (T46), and men and women who use wheelchairs (T53/T54) at the Rio 2016 Games.

Although the rules for the Paralympic marathon are roughly the same as for the Olympics, competitors in visual impairment classes are permitted to run together with a guide runner as necessary, while athletes in wheelchair classes are allowed to use a special wheelchair designed specifically for competitive racing. The sense of unity athletes feel with their guide runner or wheelchair, which becomes part of the body, is a vital element that affects competitors' performances.

Classification

Class Type of impairment
T/F11
T/F12
T/F13
Visual impairment Severe↑Minor
T/F20 Intellectual impairment
T/F31
T/F32
T/F33
T/F34
Cerebral palsy(wheelchair) Severe↑Minor
T/F35
T/F36
T/F37
T/F38
Cerebral palsy(standing) Severe↑Minor
T/F40
T/F41
Short stature Severe↑Minor
Class Type of impairment
T/F42
T/F43
T/F44
Lower limb deficiency Severe↑Minor
T/F45
T/F46
T47
Upper limb deficiency Severe↑Minor
T/F51
T/F52
T/F53
T/F54
F55
F56
F57
Wheelchair other than cerebral palsy
(Cervical cord injury, spinal cord injury, amputation, functional disorder)
Severe↑Minor

Table prepared to reflect international competition standards based on classification tables used at the Japan Para Championships.

International Federation: International Association of Athletics Federations(Open in a new window)

Event Programme

  • Marathon T12 (Men/Women)
  • Marathon T46 (Men)
  • Marathon T54 (Men/Women)

Maps of the marathon events

The race walk events will take place in the Outer Gardens of the Imperial Palace; there will be a 1km loop course for the 20km events and a 2km loop course for the 50km event. Tokyo Station is nearby and its west-side plaza has recently been renovated. It is connected by a beautiful promenade to the Imperial Palace gardens.

Marathon Course Time - lapse

ESSENCE OF THE SPORT

Struggling with weather, the road surface, and the ups and downs of hills to complete the 42.195-kilometre course

Athletics athlete

Since, like other events, the marathon is held for multiple classes, the finish order is determined on a class-by-class basis. The question of which classes to hold is examined on a competition-by-competition basis, and class for visually impaired women was adopted at the Rio 2016 Games for the first time.

Let's take a look at the classes for which the marathon was held at the Rio 2016 Games to see which aspects of the race stand out. A combined race was held for the T11 and T12 visual impairment classes. T11 (total blindness, etc.) athletes must run with a guide runner who serves as a substitute for the runner's eyes by providing visual information and leads them safely, while T12 athletes can choose whether to run alone or with a guide runner. Consequently, athletes running alone mingle with athlete-guide runner pairs during the race. Since athletes running in pairs run alongside their guide runner while holding onto a rope or otherwise maintaining contact, it's important for them to refine their coordination, for example by adopting the same form. Guide runners must not lead their athlete, but rather play a supporting role, and this fact is reflected in rules such as one that disqualifies an athlete if his or her guide runner crosses the finish line first. Under the current rules, two guide runners are permitted, and they may switch places at designated points on the course. Athletes run with a certain amount of nervousness concerning factors such as bumps, ascents and descents on hills, and turns on the course.

Weather conditions are a major factor in the marathon, and the percentage of athletes who finish the race declines when the weather is hot or humid. For reasons relating to the number of participating athletes, it's not unusual for competitors to run alone, rather than in groups. As a result, athletes must possess the mental strength to maintain their pace as they race alone under gruelling conditions.

Since the course also utilises normal roads, factors such as the ups and downs of hills and the number of turns have a significant impact on times. Road surface conditions also demand caution due to the high level of associated risks, for example visually impaired athletes tripping or falling on roads with rough surfaces such as cobblestone roads, or athletes using wheelchairs experiencing flat tyres. It's not uncommon for athletes in wheelchairs to overturn on sharp turns.

For athletes in classes with paralysis or limb deficiencies such as amputation (T45/T46), balancing the swing of the arms is important. Individual competitors come up with their own creative ways to accept cups of water and sponges as they strive to reach the finish line.

Athletes in the wheelchair T53/54 class must use a special wheelchair with at least three wheels developed specifically for racing, and they must propel it using only their arms for 42.195 kilometres. Although the materials and performance of racing wheelchairs continue to evolve year by year, it remains essential for athletes to work to refine their muscle strength and skill to take advantage of those advances and to customise their wheelchairs to the extent allowed by the rules to accommodate their own impairments.

OUTLOOK FOR THE TOKYO 2020 GAMES

What to watch varies by impairment... what will it take to dominate Tokyo in midsummer?

Athletics athlete

Although European athletes from countries such as Spain and Portugal, and Japanese athletes have been considered powerful contenders in recent years in the visual impairment class (T12 men), El Amin Chentouf (Morocco) dominated the Rio 2016 Games. A racer who runs alone despite his low vision, Chentouf polished his speed in track events before embracing the challenge of competing in the marathon. The world record for the men's T12 marathon (as of May 2017) – 2 hours 21 minutes 33 seconds – was set by Chentouf at the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships in London. Imagine the intensity of focus required to run one kilometre in 3 minutes 21 seconds with low vision. Attention will be on the Tokyo 2020 Games to see whether Chentouf can repeat his achievement, or whether a new star will appear.

Although numerous athletes from countries like Brazil, Spain, and Mexico compete in the upper limb impairment class (T46 men), it was Li Chaoyan (China) who dominated the Rio 2016 Games. At the same time, the T46 men's world record time of 2 hours 33 minutes 8 seconds was set by Abderrahman Ait Khamouch (Spain), who won silver medals at the London 2012 Games and the Rio 2016 Games. Will the Tokyo 2020 Games see Li, who lost his left arm at the elbow, continue his dynasty; Ait Khamouch, who lost his right upper arm, start a new dynasty; or a new athlete emerge?

The world record for the wheelchair class (T54 men) is 1 hour 20 minutes 14 seconds. That athlete developed enough speed to fly through one kilometre in 1 minute 54 seconds using only the strength of his arms. The sense of speed that comes from travelling at an average speed of 30 kilometres per hour and reaching speeds of up to 50 kilometres per hour on downhill stretches is surely the unique appeal of racing wheelchairs. One characteristic of wheelchair races is the practice of racing in a tandem formation like the peloton in a bicycle race in order to avoid wind resistance. It's enjoyable to watch how racers' strategies play out as they take turns in the lead position to maintain the group's pace. It has become common in recent years for races to be determined by a final spurt at the end of the course; for example, the top four finishers in the T54 women's class at the Rio 2016 Games were separated by just one second, and the top seven finishers by just three seconds. In the men's race, Marcel Hug (Switzerland), who has also been a strong performer in track events, notched his first win. The T54 class includes numerous famous men and women, particularly from western countries, and the Tokyo 2020 Games should provide riveting competition as spectators watch to see who will be crowned with victory.

TRIVIA

Question

Marcel Hug (Switzerland) has a unique nickname. What is it?

Answer

A:The Silver Bullet
The name comes from the shining silver helmet he uses, along with his bullet-like speed. In 2016, Hug won an unprecedented six major marathons in a row.

As of 1 Dec. 2018

Competition Venues

  • Olympic Stadium

Olympic Sports

Paralympic Sports