About World Para Athletics

A guide to World Para Athletics

World Para Athletics acts as the international federation for the sport of Para athletics.

Para athletics was one of eight sports included at the first Paralympic Games in Rome, Italy, in 1960 and has remained on the programme ever since attracting the largest number of competitors and countries.

The sport is open to male and female athletes in all eligible impairment groups and offers a wide range of competition opportunities.

This includes the Paralympic Games every four years, biennial World Championships, biennial or quadrennial regional Championships and annual Grand Prix and World Marathon Majors events.

Athletes compete according to their sport specific classification in each event. Some compete in wheelchairs and some with prostheses, while visually impaired athletes are supported by a sighted guide.

Since 31 athletes from 10 countries competed at the Rome 1960 Paralympic Games participation and visibility of the sport has increased significantly.

The sport is now practised by athletes in more than 130 countries.

For further information, please visit www.worldparaathletics.org

History of the World Para Athletics Championships

London 2017 will be the eighth edition of the World Para Athletics Championships, and the first since IPC Athletics was rebranded to World Para Athletics.  July’s event also marks the first time that the Championships have been held back-to-back with the IAAF equivalent.

The last Championships were held in Doha, Qatar, in October 2015 and attracted 1,229 athletes from 90 countries.  China topped the medals table picking up 85 medals, 41 of which were gold. An impressive 54 world records were set during the 10 days of competition.

Previous editions

  • 2015 Doha, Qatar
  • 2013 Lyon, France
  • 2011 Christchurch, New Zealand
  • 2006 Assen, the Netherlands
  • 2002 Lille, France
  • 1998 Birmingham, Great Britain
  • 1994 Berlin, Germany