14 September 2016

Quick guide to Paracanoe at the Paralympics

Making its debut at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Paracanoe is one of the International Canoe Federation’s fastest growing disciplines. Introduced at World Championship level in 2010 the annual event now boasts an entry from over 40 nations.

Brazil can be considered one of the sports hotspots having won thirteen world titles in the six years since the sports international introduction; however, it is the Brits that are the world’s top nation with 22 podium topping performances in the same time.

What is Paracanoe?

Paracanoe at the Paralympic Games is contested in the Kayak with three different classes (KL1, KL2 and KL3) based on the level of the athlete’s impairment –The larger the number, the less severe an impairment of the athlete. All races are contested over a 200 meter course.

Racing is often very tight, which is illustrated by the six ‘A’ finals below from the 2016 ICF Paracanoe World Championships in Duisburg, Germany.

All About Rio 2016

This year, the Rio 2016 Paracanoe events will be held in Lagoa Stadium, on Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas. The lagoon also hosts both canoe sprint and rowing events, and has had a new finish tower installed. Paracanoe events will take place between September the14th and 16th September.
In total, there will be six events with medals – 3 for each men and women in KL1, KL2 and KL3.

3 Things to Know if You’re Going to Rio

1. As with most of the stadiums, you can only use public transport to access the lagoon – there is no parking available.
2. Don’t forget to get your RioCard before you arrive, since that’s your key to having a smooth journey to all the exciting events!
3. Opening time is 90 minutes before the start time written on the ticket. Don’t be late!

Paracanoe Lingo

  • As usual, it’s important to know all the words and abbreviations about the sport in order to really show that you know all there is to know about it! So here are a few definitions to help you out.
  • Gunwale: the upper edge of the side of a canoe (not pronounced like “gunwhale”, more like “gunnel”)
  • Wash: the broken water left in the wake of a moving boat
  • Beam: the widest part of a canoe