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Para athletics

Rio 2016 Paralympics Logo

Rio Logo

Para-Athletics Video

Para athletics is the sport of athletics for people with a range of impairments. Para athletes compete in a range of track, road or field events.

Eight Para athletes have been selected to represent New Zealand at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, including:

Read about the Para athletics team selection here and here!


Para athletics events are held for men and women over a range of classifications and events. Broadly speaking the classification categories are divided into six different types of impairment – visually impaired, intellectually impaired, cerebral palsy and brain trauma, short stature, limb deficiencies and impaired muscle power/impaired range of movement. Some Para athletes will compete in wheelchairs, some with prostheses, while those who are visually impaired receive guidance from a sighted guide.

Medal events: 177 in total comprising 96 men’s events and 81 women’s events.
Track: 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, 5000m and 4x100m and 4x400m relays.
Field: High jump (men only), long jump, shot put, discus, javelin and club throw.
Road: Marathon.
Where: Joao Havelange Stadium, Maracana (road events based at Flamengo Park, Copacabana)
When: Thursday 8 September to Sunday 18 September 2016.

More info: www.rio2016.com/en/paralympics/athletics

Rio 2016 Para-Athletics

The strength and depth of the New Zealand Para athletics programme has improved markedly since the London 2012 Paralympics Games. Names seeking to make a mark will be 2015 IPC Athletics World Championship silver medallists Rory McSweeney (F44 javelin) and Jess Hamill (F34 shot put), and bronze medallists in Doha – Holly Robinson (F46 javelin) and Anna Grimaldi (F47 long jump).

The Kiwi Stars of Para-Athletics

(since the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games)

GOLD - 34 Medals

  • Men's Javelin F44 (Sydney 2000) - John Dowell
  • Men's Javelin F52 (Sydney 2000) – David MacCalman
  • Men's Pentathlon P53 (Sydney 2000) – David MacCalman
  • Men's Shot Put F53 (Sydney 2000) – Peter Martin
  • Men's Javelin F52-53 (Athens 2004) – Peter Martin
  • Men's Shot Put F52 (Athens 2004) – Peter Martin
  • Men's 800m T13 (Athens 2004) – Tim Prendergast
  • Men's 200m T37 (Athens 2004) – Matt Slade

Silver - 28 Medals

  • Men's Shot Put F44 (Sydney 2000) – John Dowall
  • Men's 1,500m T13 (Sydney 2000) – Tim Prendergast
  • Men's 800m T13 (Sydney 2000) – Tim Prendergast
  • Men's 200m T37 (Sydney 2000) – Matt Slade
  • Women's 200m T44 (Sydney 2000) – Kate Horan

Bronze - 23 Medals

  • Men's Pentathlon P53 (Sydney 2000) – Peter Martin
  • Men's 100m T37 (Sydney 2000) – Matt Slade
  • Men's Discus F52 (Athens 2004) – Peter Martin
New Zealand Results in Para-Athletics
1952 The first Para athletics competition took place at the inaugural International Stoke Mandeville Games. Wheelchair racing was one of eight sports which featured on the programme.
1960 Para athletics was one of eight sports to feature at the inaugural Paralympic Games staged in Rome. All 25 Para athletics events on the programme (13 men and 12 women) were field events.
1964 Track events were introduced into the Para athletics programme at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo. A total of 42 Para athletic events were included in the Games programme.
1976 As the growth of Para athletics expanded, the Toronto 1976 Paralympic Games witnessed some 207 Para athletics events on the programme.
1988 The Korean capital of Seoul played host to the first Paralympic Games to take place in the same host city as the Olympic Games.
1994 The birth of the IPC Athletics World Championships in Berlin. The event is now a biennial competition.
2012 Some 1,100 athletes competed across 170 events at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
2015 A total of 1,230 athletes competed at the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships in Doha.
Para-Athletics Timeline

In Para athletics each event consists of a prefix T (track) or F (field) and a number that indicates which of the events the sport class applies to. For more details, please download the following information sheet.

In Para sport classification provides the structure for fair and equitable competition to ensure that winning is determined by skill, fitness, power, endurance, tactical ability and mental focus – the same factors that account for success in sport for able-bodied athletes. The Para sport classification assessment process identifies the eligibility of each Para athlete’s impairment, and groups them into a sport class according to the degree of activity limitation resulting from their impairment. Classification is sport-specific as an eligible impairment affects a Para athlete’s ability to perform in different sports to a different extent. Each Para sport has a different classification system.


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