World Para Athletics Championships London 2017

Paralympics Unlocked – Canoe Sprint and Road Cycling

7th September 2016

Canoe Sprint

This year’s Rio Games sees Canoe make its exciting debut. Strength and speed are the order of the day in this sport, as athletes push themselves to their physical limit. Whereas in the Olympic Games there are two different types of boat taking part in the competition, the Paralympic Games will only host kayak events.

The competition takes place in 200m straight-line courses. The winner is the athlete that completes the distance the quickest, whilst staying in lane. There are three classes for both men and women as follows:

  • KL1: For athletes with no or very limited trunk or leg movement, who usually need a special seat with a high backrest.
  • KL2: For athletes with partial trunk and leg function. Athletes in this class may need a special backrest to assist with sitting upright.
  • KL3: For athletes who are able to sit in a forward-flexed position in the kayak and are able to use at least one leg/prosthesis.

Who to watch

Ian Marsden@IanMarsdenGB

Anne Dickins@Anne200solo

Emma Wiggs@emwiggsy

When to watch

Canoe Sprint coverage starts on Wednesday 14th September. It finishes on Thursday 15th September. Details of Channel 4 coverage can be found here

Road Cycling

Whether its road race or time trial, road cycling is an endurance test like no other. Introduced in the 1984 Stoke Mandeville Paralympic Games, the events were just for athletes with cerebral palsy at that time. Four years later, in Seoul, cyclists with other impairments were also included. The Barcelona 1992 Paralympic Games introduced visually-impaired athletes into the competition.

There are men’s, women’s, individual and team events, all competing on different types of bike. These are specific to each type of impairment an athlete may have:

  • Tricycles: Fitted with two wheels at the back, the tricycle is typically used for athletes with cerebral palsy.
  • Hand bikes, pedalled by hand: Used by paraplegic or tetraplegic athletes.
  • Tandem: Typically for visually-impaired athletes, this two-seater bike also has space for a guide, who sits in the front seat and indicates the direction to steer in.

It’s as much about tactics as it is about speed with road cycling, which means it will be an exciting one to watch!

Who to watch

Megan Giglia @MeganGiglia

Crystal Lane – @CrystallLane

Sarah Storey – @DameSarahStorey

When to watch

Road cycling coverage starts on Wednesday 14th September. It finishes on Saturday 17th September. Details of Channel 4 coverage can be found here

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