Parapan American Games

Para athletics

Para athletics

Para athletics

Para athletics is the sport with the most modalities among the Parapan American Games. The program includes 100 m, 200 m, 400 m, 800 m, 1,500 m, 5,000 m, 10,000 m, 4x100 m, 4x400 m races and marathons; field events like shot put; discus, javelin and club throw; high jump; long jump; shooting competitions; and combined events like pentathlon. Depending on their impairment, Para athletes compete in wheelchairs, with prostheses, or under the guidance of a sighted person. The classification process for each of the competitions is established according to the athletes’ type of impairment (physical, visual or intellectual). The letters “T” or “F” are used to indicate if it is a track or field event, while the sports class is defined by a two-number code. The first one refers to the type of functional impairment and the second refers to the degree of impairment of the Para athlete.

Some details

Efraín Sotacuro made history as the first Peruvian runner to qualify to a Paralympic marathon at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, achieving an outstanding 4th place. He is the first Para athlete featured in the national marathon runners program and has been appointed Lima 2019 Parapan American Ambassador.
 

History

The first official athletics competition for people with impairments took place in 1952 (a wheelchair race) as part of a series of games organized by the Stoke Mandeville Hospital for veterans of the World War II.

Terminology

Anchor leg: The last leg for an athlete on a relay team.
Cage: The six-meter-wide area from which a competitor throws a discus.
Curb: The inside corner of the running track.
False start: This error occurs when an athlete moves off the starting blocks in a running race either before the start gun goes off or within 0.10 seconds of it so doing. Any athlete responsible for a false start is disqualified.
Guide runner: Used by blind or visually impaired athletes. The guide runners give verbal instructions, offer his elbow so the Para athlete can advance, or are connected to the Para athlete by a rope attached to their wrists.

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