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Performance characteristics of para swimmers – how effective is the swimming classification system?

Payton, CJ and Burkett, B and Van de Vliet, P and Jarvis, H and Daly, D and Mehrkuehler, C and Kilian, M and Hogarth, L (2018) Performance characteristics of para swimmers – how effective is the swimming classification system? Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America, 29 (2). pp. 333-346. ISSN 1047-9651

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Abstract

Swimming is one of the inaugural sports within the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the key difference between the Olympic and Paralympic games being the classification system. The aim of this study was to investigate how effective the current classification system creates clearly differentiated Paralympic competition classes, based on performance time for all swimming strokes and events. Based on the performance characteristics of swimmers within the current classification system, the relationship between impairment and swimming performance is inconsistent, potentially disadvantaging some athletes. Appropriate sports medicine tests are required for the development of an evidence-based swimming classification system.

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