Paralympics 2021: what is the T11? What is F11? What is a guide?

Classification is a very important part of the Paralympic Games, each event name being preceded by a different code.

This code refers to the level of disability, athletes participating in events according to their individual disability.

The aim is to make the competition as fair as possible by grouping athletes with similar disabilities into different classes for each sport.

With ParalympicsGB’s Libby Clegg a big medal hopeful in the women’s T11 200m, here’s what you need to know about the event …

What does T11 mean?

Events graded T11-13 refer to running and jumping events for athletes with severe visual impairment.

The lower the number, the more severe the impact of the disability.

For example, T11 athletes will have little or no light perception and in many cases are completely blind.

As the number increases, the visual impairment decreases: T12 athletes will have better vision than T11 athletes, while T13 athletes are the least visually impaired of all in these categories.

T13 athletes can generally recognize contours from 2 to 6 meters.

What does F11 mean?

Along with F for Field, events classified as F11-13 refer to throws and follow a similar pattern to track events, with F11 athletes being the most visually impaired.

What is a guide?

Guides are mandatory for athletes competing in T11 events and optional for those participating in T12 events.

Guides are generally not used in T13 events.

A guide is a runner who does not have a visual impairment and who is strapped to the disabled competitor using a bracelet in his hand or on his wrist.

They are responsible for informing their partner where they are on the field and how far they are on the track.

Successful pairs run in unison, but the guide cannot cross the line first or the duo will be disqualified.

The guide is also not allowed to coach the visually impaired athlete, which will result in disqualification.

What event is Libby Clegg participating in?

Libby Clegg is one of the famous faces of ParalympicsGB, Tokyo 2021 scoring their fourth games.

She is no stranger to success as she won the double in Rio over 100m T11 and 200m T11 with guide Chris Clarke.

This year, she will partner Clarke again as they hope to defend their T11 Paralympic title in the 200m.

It comes after a tough year in 2020 when Covid restrictions forced Clegg to drop her training with social distancing requirements preventing her from being tied to her guide.

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