Late last week, International Triathlon Union (ITU) and International Paralympic Committee (IPC) jointly announced three of the six total para-triathlon medal events for the 2016 Summer Paralympics. The sport is making its debut on the Paralympic programme at the 2016 Games.
The confirmed medal events are PT1 and PT4 men, and PT4 women. One more men’s event and two more women’s events are still to be determined. The final decision for medal events is expected to be made at the IPC Board meeting in October of this year.
Following the announcement, ITU President Marisol Casado was quoted by the IPC as saying, “Paratriathlon’s addition to the Paralympic programme is going to be a monumental moment for our sport, […] As paratriathlon continues to expand drastically each year, we remain committed to evolving with its growing demands and competitiveness. We are hopeful and dedicated to seeing even more medal events contested in Tokyo.”
Currently, there are five classifications in para-triathlon. There are not enough spots to allow each classification to be eligible for a medal competition at the Rio Games.
In response to the news, British Triathlon that said in part:
British Triathlon acknowledge that this is a challenging time for athletes and has committed to fully supporting athletes across all five male and female sport classes throughout the 2014 season (until 31 October 2014). This will include the remaining ITU World Paratriathlon Events and the ITU Paratriathlon World Championships in Edmonton in August; this commitment remains the same regardless of today’s announcement by the ITU.British Triathlon has been at the forefront of the development of Paratriathlon since its inception and as such are committed to continuing the development of all five sport classes. We will work with the relevant funding partners to identify what support can be offered to athletes in the non-Paralympic Classes and will communicate this with the individual athletes when the remaining three classes are announced.
The International Canoe Federation is still determining potential medals for their debut at the 2016 Games. One of the current issues at the moment that is holding up the process involves refining the classification system.