There are four events on the Paralympic rowing programme: the men’s arms and shoulders only single scull (ASM1x), the women’s arms and shoulders only single scull (ASW1x), the trunk and arms mixed double scull (TAMix2x) and the legs, trunk and arms mixed coxed four (LTAMix4+).
Strictly speaking, the coxed four is the only ‘rowing’ event. The others are sculling events, where each athlete uses two oars rather than one.
All events are raced over 1000m, rather than the 2000m that is the standard distance in Olympic rowing. As with Olympic rowing, the precise progression system depends on the number of entries. Generally, competitors race in heats and repechages before going on to contest the finals.
The first boat (measured from the bow-ball of each boat) to cross the finish line is declared the winner.
Athletes competing in the mixed double and the single scull events must comply with strict rules on how they are strapped into their boat to ensure that competition is fair.
Seats on both the mixed double and single scull events are fixed and are adapted to provide additional support to the athletes. The single scull boats are also equipped with buoyancy devices to provide additional lateral balance to the boats.
Coxed four rowers must be able to use a sliding seat to propel the boat. In the four, a maximum of two rowers with visual impairment are allowed per crew. Of these two rowers, only one may be classified as a B3. The other rowers in the crew have physical impairments. There must be two rowers of each sex in the crew. The cox can be of either sex and is not required to have an impairment.
In the double scull event, rowers who are not able to use a sliding seat, who have functional use of the trunk but who have weakened function or mobility of their lower limbs will compete.
Single scull rowers will have no or minimal trunk function and are reliant on their arms and/or shoulders to propel the boat.
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