The International Triathlon Union (ITU) has been successful in its bid for paratriathlon to be included in the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) made the decision at the IPC Governing Board meeting in Guangzhou, China – ahead of the 10th Asian Para Games.
Marisol Casado, ITU President and IOC Member said, “ITU is deeply honoured to join the Paralympic Family and have our inspirational paratriathletes compete alongside the remarkable Paralympians from around the world. On behalf of the ITU, I would like to thank IPC President Sir Phil Craven and the Governing Board members.
“I am confident Paratriathlon will contribute to the Paralympic Movement and inspire people and youth worldwide. It has been a long road to reach this milestone but we know the real work begins now as we dedicate our efforts to delivering spectacular Paratriathlon competitions in Rio 2016.”
ITU has supported the development of Paratriathlon for more than 15 years and has held Paratriathlon World Championships every year since 1995.
Sarah Springman, ITU Vice President and Executive Board Representative to the ITU Paratriathlon Committee added, “Today’s Paralympic Games invitation from the IPC is the culmination of years of dedication and commitment to the development of Paratriathlon.
“Our long-held ambition has come true. We would like to thank the members of the IPC and everyone who has contributed to the bid, including our paratriathletes and triathletes, our National Federations, passionate supporters and of course our hardworking Paratriathlon Committee led by Grant Darby and our invaluable staff liaison member, Thanos Nikopoulos.”
A total of seven sports were bidding to be added to the existing programme of twenty Paralympic sports – and both paratriathlon and paracanoeing have been added to the programme.
Paratriathlon attracted significant support from elite and amateur triathletes, Olympians, World Champions and almost every National Federation member of the International Triathlon Union, which was demonstrated through a range of commitments and actions, including ITU’s ‘Back the Bid: Paratriathlon for the Paralympics’ campaign.