Rio 2016 Preview: Athletics

The T42 200m final in London 2012 (Barney Moss/Wikimedia Commons)

Sport: Athletics

Events: 177 (96 male, 81 female)

Classification: Classifications are prefaced by T or F signifying whether they are track or field and then broken down in to some broad categories:

11-13 – Visual Impairment

20 – Intellectual Disability

31-38 – Cerebral palsy (31-34 Wheelchair, 35-38 ambulant)

40 – Les Autres (French for “the others”) – includes dwarfism

42-47 – Amputees

51-58 – Spinal Cord Injury

Venue: Estadio Olimpico Joao Havelange

Athlete Quota: 1100 (660 men, 440 women)

International Federation: International Paralympic Committee


This will be a sport where Russia’s absence is heavily felt as they came second in the Athletics medal table in London four years ago with 19 gold medals. That was still well off the pace as China finished with 33 gold medals and will be heavily expected to win the table again.

While Great Britain had a strong performance in London, which they should at least match in Rio, look for Brazil to be the big benefactors of Russia’s absence. Brazil had a strong performance in London, winning seven gold medals, but that was only a preview as London was the warm up for where Brazil’s National Paralympic Committee was focusing, which was putting together a strong team for their home games in Rio.

Cuba will be to sprinting at the Paralympics what Jamaica is at the Olympics, with Omara Durand likely to be a star. The United States as typical has a strong team, with a number of new athletes having posted strong marks.

Nations on the rise apart from Brazil include Australia, who won eight gold medals at the 2015 World Championships, and Iran who won four. The biggest rising team is Belgium who managed to win five gold medals in the World Championships in Doha after winning just one gold in London.



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