Tokyo Paralympics Know Your Sport: Athletics, classifications and Indians in action

Here are the para athletic events, their formats, classification, Indian athletes participating in Tokyo Paralympics and India's medal possibility in each category.

Devendra Jhajharia (left top), Mariyappan Thangavelu (right top), Navdeep, Sandeep Chaudhary, Ajeet Singh Yadav (left bottom) and Simran (right bottom).   -  Image 1- AP, Image 2- The Hindu, Image 3- PTI, Image 4- PTI

In para-athletics, the sport class is in the following format- alphabet (T for Track, Marathon and Jumping events and F for Field events) + first digit (class type) + second digit (level of impairment). In general, the lower the second digit, the higher is the level of impairment. 

MEN’S JAVELIN THROW 

The sport involves athletes running on a designated runway and throwing a metal-tipped javelin as far as possible inside a designated sector. The throw is only valid if the metal tip of the javelin hits the ground first. No other technique except throwing the javelin over the shoulder or upper part of the throwing arm is valid. 

 READ: Tokyo Paralympics Know Your Sport: Badminton, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Canoeing  

  • How distance is measured - The distance from the point at which the javelin struck the ground to the inside edge of the arc at the end of the runaway along a line to the centre of the circle of which the arc is a part. 
  • Format – The competition will consist of a single round in which each athlete will get six attempts. The best distance out of the six throws will count as every athlete’s final distance. 

Classifications (language specified by World Para Athletics) in which Indians will be participating 

  • F41 – shorter stature
  • Indians playing- Navdeep 

F46 – Athletes with a unilateral upper limb impairment roughly comparable to the activity limitations experienced by an athlete with a unilateral amputation of one arm through or above the wrist and one intact arm. Athletes with bilateral upper limb impairments where one arm meets the unilateral criteria and the other affected arm does not meet the bilateral criteria above also compete in this class.

  • Indians playing– Devendra Jhajharia, Ajeet Singh, Sundar Singh Gurjar 
  • F54 – Athletes have full power and movements in their arms but no power in their abdominal muscles and typically no sitting balance. An athlete with partial to full trunk control but with upper limbs that have muscle power in the finger flexor and extensor muscles with always some weakness and resulting wasting of the intrinsic muscles of the hand is appropriately placed in this class. The grip on the implement is close to able-bodied, and force can be imparted to the implement when throwing.
  • Indians playing - Tek Chand 
  • F57 – Athletes who meet one or more of the MDC (Minimum Disability Criteria) for impaired muscle power, limb deficiency, impaired passive range of movement and leg length difference, who do not fit any of the previously described profiles, fall into this class.
  • Indians playing - Ranjeet Bhati 
  • F64 – - Athletes with unilateral below-knee limb deficiency competing with a prosthesis where the minimum impairment criteria for lower limb deficiency and leg length discrepancy are met. 
  • Indians playing- Sandeep Chaudhary, Sumit, Sandip Sanjay Sagar (Reserve)

Navdeep, Sandeep Chaudhary and Ajeet Singh Yadav.   -  PTI

 

READ: Pramod Bhagat says representing India at the Paralympics a dream come true

READ: We'll win at least 5 medals, including 3 golds: Indian para badminton coach  

Possibility of medals – India can win a maximum of eight medals including five golds in men's javelin.

MEN’S HIGH JUMP 

Competitors in this event take off from one foot over a four-metre-long horizontal bar and try to clear the greatest height without knocking the bar down. 

  • Format – The competition will consist of a single round in which all competitors have three attempts per height. They can also decide to ‘pass’ one height and raise the bar before trying three times to clear the existing one. However, three consecutive failures on the same height or even a combination of heights lead to elimination. In case of a tie between competitors at the same height, the one with the fewest failures at that height is declared the winner. If the tie still exists, the athlete with the fewest failed attempts across the competition is declared the winner. In case the athletes can’t still be separated, the athletes concerned are given the existing positions unless the tie is for the first position which then leads to a jump-off where each athlete has one jump at the next greater height. 

Classifications (language specified by World Para Athletics) in which Indians will be participating 

  • T47 – Athletes with a unilateral upper limb impairment resulting in some loss of function at the shoulder, elbow and wrist and which impacts sprints primarily. The impact of the impairment is comparable to the activity limitations experienced by an athlete with a unilateral through wrist/ below elbow amputation.
  • Indians playing- Nishad Kumar, Ram Pal 
  • T63 – Athletes with a single through knee or above knee limb deficiency competing with a prosthesis where minimum impairment criteria for lower limb deficiency are met.
  • Indians playing - Mariyappan Thangavelu, Sharad Kumar, Varun Singh Bhati 
  • T64 – Athletes with unilateral below-knee limb deficiency competing with a prosthesis where the minimum impairment criteria for lower limb deficiency and leg length discrepancy are met.
  • Indians playing - Praveen Kumar 

Possibility of medals – India can win a maximum of six medals, including three golds in men’s high jump.

Mariyappan Thangavelu, gold medal winner in high jump event in the Paralympics 2016 held in Rio de Janeiro, shows his medal after being felicitated at Sri Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on September 29, 2016.   -  G P SAMPATH KUMAR

 

READ: Paralympics 2021: Women lead India's medal hopes in Tokyo

MEN’S CLUB THROW 

Competitors in this event sit in a throwing frame inside a circle consisting of a chair and a vertical pole. While sitting on the chair and holding the pole, the athletes try to throw a roughly 400g heavy wooden club as far as possible. 

  • How distance is measured - From the first point of contact by any part of the club to the inside of the circumference of the circle along a line to the centre of the circle. 
  • Format – The competition will consist of a single round in which every athlete will get six attempts. The best distance out of the six throws will count as every athlete’s final distance. 

Classifications (language specified by World Para Athletics) in which Indians will be participating 

  • F51 – Athletes use the slightly decreased to full muscle power at the shoulders, elbow flexors, and wrist extensors for throwing an implement. The triceps muscles are non-functional and may be absent. Muscle power in the trunk is absent. The grip of the implements is difficult due to non-functional finger flexors. The non-throwing hand usually requires strapping to the support bar.
  • Indians playing - Amit Kumar, Dharambir 

Possibility of medals – India can win a maximum of two medals including one gold in men's club throw.  

MEN’S SHOT PUT 

For the categories in which Indians will be participating, the athletes are required to ‘put’ the shot, a spherical-shaped object made of solid iron, brass or any metal not softer than brass, instead of the usual throwing from a designated circle as seen in the shot put events.  

  • How distance is measured - From the nearest mark made by the fall of the shot to the inside of the circumference of the circle along a line to the centre of the circle 
  • Format – The competition will consist of a single round in which every athlete will get six attempts. The best distance out of the six attempts will count as every athlete’s final distance. 

Classifications (specified by World Para Athletics) in which Indians will be participating 

  • F35 – Athletes are typically more affected in the legs than the arms but may also have significant coordination impairment of the non-throwing arm. Moderate hypertonia in the legs significantly limits the ability to walk and run. The athlete has fair to good functional strength and near to able-bodied grasp, release and follow-through in the throwing arm.
  • Indians playing - Arvind Malik
  • F57 – Athletes who meet one or more of the MDC for impaired muscle power, limb deficiency, impaired passive range of movement and leg length difference, who do not fit any of the previously described profiles, fall into this class.
  • Indians playing - Soman Rana 

Possibility of medals – India can win a maximum of two medals (both can be gold) in men's shot put.

READ: Tokyo Paralympics 2020: All you need to know about the Indian contingent

MEN’S DISCUS THROW 

Competitors sitting in a throwing frame, consisting of a chair, inside a circle inside a U-Shaped Discus cage will try to throw the discus as far as possible. 

  • How distance is measured - From the nearest mark made by the fall of the discus to the inside of the circumference of the circle along a line to the centre of the circle. 
  • Format – The competition will consist of a single round in which every athlete will get six attempts. The best distance out of the six attempts will count as every athlete’s final distance. 

Classifications (specified by World Para Athletics) in which Indians will be participating 

  • F52 – Athletes usually have good shoulder muscles and mildly weak to full elbow and wrist muscles which are required for throwing an implement. Finger flexor and extensor muscles are non-functional, making a grip of the implement difficult. The non-throwing hand usually requires strapping to the throwing frame.
  • Indians playing - Vinod Kumar 
  • F56 – Athletes have full arm and trunk muscle power. Pelvic stability is provided by some to full ability to press the knees together. Hip abductor and hip extensor muscles are typically absent. Equivalent activity limitations are seen in athletes with bilateral high above-knee amputations. Athletes with some but non-functional muscle power in the lower limbs will also fit in this class.
  • Indians playing - Yogesh Kathuniya 

Possibility of medals – India can win a maximum of two medals (both can be gold) in the men's discus throw. 

WOMEN’S CLUB THROW 

Classifications (specified by World Para Athletics) in which Indians will be participating 

  • F51 – Athletes use the slightly decreased to full muscle power at the shoulders, elbow flexors, and wrist extensors for throwing an implement. The triceps muscles are non-functional and may be absent. Muscle power in the trunk is absent. The grip of the implements is difficult due to non-functional finger flexors. The non-throwing hand usually requires strapping to the support bar.
  • Indians playing - Ekta Bhyan, Kashish Lakra 

Possibility of medals – India can win a maximum of two medals (including one gold) in women's club throw. 

WOMEN’S SHOT PUT 

  • F34 – Athletes generally have moderate to severe hypertonia in both legs with significant difficulty in standing balance and walking. The arms and trunk demonstrate fair to good functional strength and near to full grasp, release and follow-through for throws. Poor fine coordination in the hands is common. Hypertonia in the trunk and in the legs may result in mild limitations in throws.
  • Indians playing - Bhagyashri Mahavrao Jadhav

Possibility of medals – India can win a maximum of one medal, which could be gold in the women's shot put.

Para athlete Simran Sharma practicing for women's 100m track event of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.   -  PTI

 

WOMEN’S 100m 

Will include qualification heats after which top two or three in each heat and top two or three fastest losers qualify for the next round or final depending upon the number of total participants. 

  • T13 – Athletes with a T13/F13 sport class have the least severe vision impairment eligible for Para-athletics and don’t use a guide runner. They have the highest visual acuity and/or a visual field of fewer than 40 degrees diameter.
  • Indians playing - Simran

Possibility of medals – India can win a maximum of one medal which could be gold in women's 100m.

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