The Paralympic classifications for disabled.

  canarieslover 08:32 02 Sep 2012

Am I the only one confused by the way that the athletes are classified? I saw Richard Whitehead, a double amputee, win 200 metres gold and the later in the day I watched Oscar Pistorius, another double amputee, win his heat in the 200 metres despite having to go up a class due to lack of entries for his particular class. With the blind/partially sighted cyclists the pilot is able bodied so what is there to prevent the entrant from having Chris Hoy on the front? Not a facetious question, I really would like more clarification than Channel 4 seem to offer.

  john bunyan 08:54 02 Sep 2012

See Here: Classification

  Quickbeam 08:57 02 Sep 2012

It is somewhat confusing, so I just watch the races for what they are to avoid the confusion. It's mainly the the competitors that need to know the exact minutia of the classifications.

  canarieslover 09:49 02 Sep 2012

I've looked at the various sites and also the LEXI introductions to each event but I'm still confused that two apparently similarly disabled runners can be in different classes. Obviously there were time differences in their performances, but no greater than those within the same classes. I suppose the controversy surrounding the re-classification of a couple of the swimmers may have made me more aware of the classes and I'm looking at the athletes more closely to try to understand it. I will try to take a leaf from Quickbeam's book and just enjoy each event for what it is.

  bremner 09:55 02 Sep 2012


Just to deal with the two mens 200m events you specifically mentioned.

Richard Whitehead has lost his legs above the knee whilst Oscar Pistorios had his amputated below the knee giving him greater control with his prostetics hence the need for two classifications.

  Quickbeam 10:09 02 Sep 2012

bremner's answer came to me also while I was out with the dog. If you look at both races, the advantage of a below the knees amputation Vs an above the knees is a huge difference in speed. Pisorios can compete with the able bodied lower order athletes.

The above the knees amputees are very clumsy by comparison, showing just how much difference a major joint can make to your recovery to normality.

  Condom 14:00 05 Sep 2012

I'm with Quickbeam on this. The LEXI introductions give me enough information so I can have an idea what the event is and then I just sit back and enjoy it. In my working days one of my hospitals had one of the Supra Regional Spinal Injuries Unit as well as a National Centre for Spinal Disorders so I have seen many paraplegic competitors go from being almost completely paralysed to competing in athletic events. It is a very humbling experience and a delight to see them so enjoying competing if front of so many supporters.  

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