The ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi will feature dedicated waves for para-triathletes for the very first time in 2018. First timers and seasoned para-triathletes will also have the chance to rub shoulders and compete alongside inspirational heroes of Paralympic triathlon including; World and European Champion and Rio 2016 Paralympic Gold medallist, Andy Lewis and Mohamed Lahna, the Bronze medallist at the Rio 2016 Paralympics. The dedicated para waves will take place on Saturday 2 March, on the same course as fellow age groupers.
Photo credit: British Triathlon
“The introduction of a para wave into the ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi is huge step in the right direction for the event. As the global WTS season-opener, Abu Dhabi is setting a precedent for other races to include dedicated para waves and make triathlon accessible to all. I’ve heard that the course on Yas Island is one-of-a-kind, and I’m looking forward to coming to the Middle East to be part of what I’m sure will be a fantastic occasion.” Great Britain’s Andy Lewis.
Following a motorcycle accident at the age of 16-years-old, which resulted in a leg amputation, Andy’s remarkable journey has seen him compete across the globe and become one of the most decorated Paralympic triathletes in the world. His love for triathlon came from watching the London 2012 Paralympics, were he was inspired by those competing. He is now part of the Great Britain World Class Performance Program and continues to compete at the highest level.
Fellow Paralympian, Mohamed Lahna was born with a PFFD birth defect that severely affected his right leg. Fitted with a prosthesis at the age of 20, the Moroccan was determined to compete at the highest level of para sports and at the age of 27, competed in his first marathon. He now has sites set firmly on competing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and going for gold in the Paratriathlon.
"Growing up, I could never have imahined achieving what I have. But at 20 years old, the world of sport presented itself to me and I never looked back. I hope that with the introduction of para waves at this year's event in Abu Dhabi, people from across the region and worldside will see that triathlon can be a gateway to a healthier and more active lifestyle, and who knows, maybe even a future career in sport. I attended the ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi 2017 as a spectator – it’s a really unique event so I was delighted to hear that I would have the chance to compete in 2018! I’m especially excited to go up against Andy again following our Rio showdown –hopefully our performance will inspire other para-athletes to give triathlon a go!" Mohamed Lahna
Joining the Paralympians will be Team Angel Wolf from the UAE. The team, who have become synonymous with sports events in the region, will be represented by Dad, Nick Watson and his son, Rio, who suffers from a rare chromosome disorder called ‘1q44 deletion denovo syndrome’, causing seizures, severe learning disabilities, motor skills disabilities and sensory integration dysfunction. As a family, Team Angel Wolf compete in a range of sporting events, but always including Rio despite his disabilities. This will be the team’s first appearance at the ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi, and is guaranteed to inspire the world’s onlookers as they cross the finish line in Abu Dhabi next March.
PTWC/PTHC: This category includes athletes who predominantly use a wheelchair for their daily ambulation. This includes athletes with comparable activity limitation and an impairment of, but not limited to: muscle power, limb deficiency, hypertonia, ataxia, and athetosis. Severe cerebral palsy athletes will use a recumbent hand-cycle on the bike course and a racing wheelchair on the run segment. It is divided into two subclasses, H1 which is the most impaired and H2 being the least impaired.
PST2: This category includes athletes with comparable activity limitation and an impairment of, but not limited to, limb deficiency, hypertonia, ataxia and or athetosis, impaired muscle power or range of movement. Common health conditions could include a complete brachial plexus, above elbow amputee, double below knee amputee or severe cerebral palsy. In both bike and run segments, amputee athletes may use approved prosthesis or other supportive devices.
PST3: Common health conditions could include partial brachial plexus, moderate multiple limb impairments or moderate cerebral palsy. In both bike and run segments, the athlete may use approved prosthesis or other supportive devices.
PST4: Common health conditions could include a below knee amputee, below elbow amputee and mild cerebral palsy. In both bike and run segments, the athlete may use approved prosthesis or other supportive devices.
PST5: Common health conditions could include a below knee amputee, below elbow amputee and mild cerebral palsy. In both bike and run segments, the athlete may use approved prosthesis or other supportive devices
PTVI: This category includes athletes with total or Partial Visual Impairment (IBSA/IPC defined subclasses B1, B2, and B3): To be eligible, athletes must meet the criteria outlined below. One guide is mandatory throughout the race and each competitor must ride a tandem during the bike segment.
a) B1: Visual acuity poorer than LogMAR 2.60
b) B2: Visual acuity ranging from LogMAR 1.50 to 2.60 (inclusive) and/or visual field constricted to a diameter of less than 10 degrees
c) B3: Visual acuity ranging from LogMAR 1.40 to 1 (inclusive) and/or visual field constricted to a diameter of less than 40 degrees.