John Levison19 Nov 2021

Paratriathlon boosted by additional Paris 2024 Paralympic medals

It's a happy Friday for paratriathlon following a significant expansion of the medal opportunities on the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games schedule.
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The sporting plans of several elite paratriathletes will have changed materially for the better on Friday, with the sport of paratriathlon given a huge vote of confidence.

That follows news that the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris will feature an increase to 11 medal events, from the eight which were contested in Tokyo.

For those not familiar, while there are now six medal categories contested at World Triathlon para level, only four of those (for men and women), featured in the programme at Tokyo 2020.

In simple terms, not every Paratriathlon World Champion could compete at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo. That impacted Great Britain’s Andy Lewis for example, a gold medallist in Rio who could not defend his title as the PTS2 category was not part of the schedule in Japan.

Tokyo 2020 Paratriathlon Medal Events

Category
Description **
Men
Women
PTWC
Wheelchair
Included
Included
PTS2
Severe Physical impairment
EXCLUDED
Included
PTS3
Significant Physical Impairment
EXCLUDED
EXCLUDED
PTS4
Moderate Physical Impairment
Included
EXCLUDED
PTS5
Mild Physical Impairment
Included
Included
PTVI
Visually Impaired
Included
Included

Looking forward to Paris 2024, the situation now looks significantly different, so much so that only the women”s PTS3 division will not feature on the Paralympic Games schedule:

Paris 2024 Paratriathlon Medal Events

Category
Description **
Men
Women
PTWC
Wheelchair
Included
Included
PTS2
Severe Physical impairment
Included
Included
PTS3
Significant Physical Impairment
Included
EXCLUDED
PTS4
Moderate Physical Impairment
Included
Included
PTS5
Mild Physical Impairment
Included
Included
PTVI
Visually Impaired
Included
Included

(** Note ‘layman’s terms’ used above for brevity and clarity – full details of the Paratriathlon ITU categorisation methodology can be found HERE).

With an increase in the number of events, the athlete quota will also be increased from 80 to 120.

World Triathlon Reaction

“We are delighted with this decision, that proves that Para triathlon is one of the key sports in the Paralympic programme, and we keep increasing the number of events and the number of participants”, said World Triathlon President and IOC member, Marisol Casado.

Marisol Casado
Marisol Casado

“World Triathlon was hoping to get the 6+6 Para triathlon classes in the Paralympics. Despite the efforts, unfortunately one of the female events did not make the cut to be included in the Programme, according to the IPC Handbook requirements. But we will explore all options to be able to offer an opportunity for female athletes in all sport classes to qualify for Paris 2024”, said the President.

Good news for British Triathlon

Of course, this represents excellent news for British Triathlon and their long-time Head of Paralympic Programme, Jonathon Riall.

He said: “We are thrilled to see that the sport has continued to move forwards year after year and to have so many classifications included in the third Games is excellent for the sport. I have been Head Coach of the programme since its inclusion in the Paralympics and I’m proud to see how this exciting sport has developed and I know it will continue to push forwards in the future. 

Jonathon Riall

“For our progamme, it’s an exciting time as we have the opportunity to bring through athletes that previously haven’t had the chance of competing on the biggest stage for our sport. We now have two years to identify new athletes and follow their progress as they target being at their best in Paris in 2024.”

New Opportunities

As well as providing, perhaps (?!) a chance for Andy Lewis to put his retirement on hold and seek a second Paralympic Games medal, it also opens up opportunity for the likes of Hannah Moore (PTS4), the 2018 and 2019 Paratriathlon World Champion, who returned to racing earlier this year to win the British Paratriathlon Championships.

Hannah Moore / Paratriathlon / Paralympic

It will also likely mean an expansion of the British Paratriathlon World Class Performance Programme and both pressure on allocation of funding, but perhaps opportunities to access new support too, with additional medals on offer and and consistent track record of success in the sport from British Triathlon at both Olympic and Paralympic level.

All-in-all, most definitely a good news day all round.