Paralympic Athletics

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Paralympic Athletics
Paralympic Athletics
Paralympic Athletics
Paralympic Athletics
Paralympic Athletics

© London 2012

The largest of Paralympic sports, Athletics features more than a thousand athletes battling it out across a number of track and field disciplines. Keep an eye out for Oscar 'The Blade Runner' Pistorious from South Africa - if he's not too quick!

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What is Paralympic Athletics?


The largest of Paralympic sports, the London 2012 Paralympic Athletics programme will feature more than a thousand athletes battle it out in 170 medal events across a number of track and field disciplines. The track events range from 100m to 5,000m, while the field events are roughly split between throwing (discus, javelin, shot put, club throw) and jumping (high jump, long jump, triple jump). The most famous Paralympic athlete today is the South African "Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius, whose running performances have become so strong he has earned selection for his Olympic national squad.  


Who won Paralympic athletic gold in Beijing in 2008?


Host nation China topped the athletics medal table with an astonishing 31 golds, 28 silvers and 18 bronzes. Their gold medal haul was over triple that of nearest challengers Australia, South Africa and Canada, who all managed 10 golds each. China's 77 medals left them streets ahead of the chasing pack, with the USA achieving the next biggest haul with 28. The world famous 'Blade Runner' Oscar Pistorius took gold in the T44 class 100m, 200m and 400m. 


Do ParalympicsGB have a chance of medals in Paralympic Athletics


Great Britain secured two gold medals in Athletics in Beijing, both won by Paralympic veteran David Weir in the T54 800m and 1500m. The team has since gone from strength to strength under the careful guidance of head coach Peter Eriksson, who took over in 2009. At the 2011 IPC World Championships, the British team won 38 medals to surpass the previous totals in Assen 2006 and Lille 2002 and finish 2nd overall on the medal table and joint 3rd on the gold medal table.

David Weir, winner of the London Marathon six times since 2002, has four medal winning opportunities and defends two titles - in the 800m and 1500m. Weir also coaches young athletes, among them 18-year-old protege and British 200m record holder Jamie Carter, who will compete in the T34 100m and 200m.

Shelly Woods is another athlete consistently delivering medal winning performances in the marathon, most recently winning the London Marathon title in April 2012. Beijing silver medallist and World Champion Libby Clegg will be hoping to go one better in London, while World Champions Katrina Hart and Richard Whitehead will be aiming for their first Paralympic medals. Paul Blake and Hannah Cockcroft, also crowned World Champions in 2011, will both make their Paralympic debuts in London.

Britain's youngest Paralympian, 16-year-old Jade Jones, ranked No 4 in the world over 400m may be young but she's gold-medal material. Mentored by Tanni Grey-Thompson, there are high hopes for Jade who competes in the T54 400m, 800m and 1500m.

On the field, keep an eye out for World Champion and former Discus world record holder Dan Greaves and current Javelin World Champion and world record holder Nathan Stephens, both of whom will be looking for gold in front of their home crowds. Veteran of four Paralympic Games Stephen Miller will also be looking to go one better than the silver he won in Beijing, to add to his Paralympic gold medals from 1996, 2000 and 2004. 


Where will the Paralympics athletics take place?


The vast majority of the Paralympic Athletics programme is held at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford, with just the road events (such as the marathon) held in central London and finishing on The Mall. For hotels nearby the Olympic Stadium, have a look at the hotel deals service. Or check out our useful Paralympics Map for a look at where everything is taking place.


When will the Paralympic Athletics take place?


The Athletics programme begins on Friday 31st August and goes right through to Sunday 9th September. Thursday 6th September is a big day in the Stadium with the completion of many Athletics finals. There are medal events taking place every day and large crowds are to be expected at both the Olympic Stadium and The Mall. See our Paralympics Day-By-Day Guide for full details of all Paralympic sports, including Athletics events, taking place each day.


How do I get to the Paralympic athletics at the Olympic Stadium?


There are numerous options when travelling to the Olympic Stadium. Driving is not advised due to high levels of traffic and restricted parking - limited, pre-booked parking will be available for disabled spectators. There are various public transport options. Delivering passengers from St Pancras to Stratford International in just seven minutes, the Olympic Javelin high-speed train shuttle service will take up to an estimated 25,000 travellers per hour. National Rail, Docklands Light Railway and London Overground will run trains to Stratford, Stratford International and West Ham. There are two London Underground stations that service the Olympic Park - Stratford and West Ham.

The Mall is accessible via a large number of Underground stations, including Green Park, Charing Cross, Westminster and Victoria.


How do I get tickets to the Paralympic Athletics?


Tickets can be purchased from More than 2.1 million of the 2.5 million available tickets have already been sold - organisers are claiming this could be the first Paralympics to sell out in the 52 year history of the Games. Twitter users could start following @2012TicketAlert, an unofficial feed set up during the Olympics which runs a check on the official site every three minutes and tweets every time a ticket becomes available.


What are the disability divisions for Paralympic athletics?


There are events for all impairment groups in athletics and these groups comprise of athletes in various classes. Classes 11, 12 and 13 cover the different levels of visual impairment. Class 20 covers athletes with a learning disability. Classes 32-38 cover athletes with different levels of cerebral palsy - both wheelchair users (32 - 34) and those who are ambulant (35 - 38). Classes 40-46 cover ambulant athletes with different levels of amputations and other impairments, including 'les Autres' (e.g. athletes who have dwarfism). Classes 51-58 cover athletes with different levels of spinal injuries and amputations who compete in wheelchairs. These classes will be preceded by an F and a T - F is for field and T is for track. 


When did athletics first appear in the Paralympics?


Athletics was introduced during the first official Paralympics in Rome in 1960 - in the years preceding this, only war veterans were eligible to take part. Host nation Italy took 12 gold medals.





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