Emma Wiggs and Charlotte Henshaw celebrate in their Canoes in Tokyo



Competitors sprint over 200m in a kayak and much like its Olympic counterpart, paracanoeing is a race in lanes to make it to the finish line first.

There are currently six different events (three for men and three for women) and this has the potential to increase to include the Va’a (outrigger canoe) events as the sport develops further.

Sport Details


The Paralympic paracanoe classification of impairments was restructured in February 2015, as a result of a two and one half year study by the ICF. In Paralympic kayak competition (K1), there are three classes for both men and women based on an athlete’s functional ability to paddle and apply force to the foot board or seat in order to propel the canoe.

KL1: Athletes with no or very limited trunk function and no leg function and typically need a special seat with high backrest in the kayak.

KL2: Athletes with partial trunk and leg function, able to sit upright in the kayak but might need a special backrest, limited leg movement during paddling.

KL3: Athletes with trunk function and partial leg function, able to sit with trunk in forward flexed position in the kayak and able to use at least one leg/prosthesis.

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