Sports Summary

Para-athletics has been contested at the Paralympic Games since the first Games, in Rome, Italy in 1960.

Para-athletics is comprised of Track and Field events and is open to athletes with a physical, intellectual or vision impairment.

On the track, athletes race over 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, 5000m and 10000m, 4x100m and 4x400m relays, marathons, either in standing events, using race wheelchairs or race running. In the field, standing throwers compete in the discus, shotput and javelin and seated throwers, who throw from a frame, throw the shotput, club, discus or javelin.

For more information on Para-athletics Eligibility and How to Get Involved please see the Para-athletics Information Sheet (PDF – 166KB) – updated May 2024.

Events & Disciplines

Athletes race over 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, 5000m and 10000m. 4x100m and 4x400m relays, marathons, club throw, discus, high jump, javelin, long jump, shot put and triple jump are also contested.


Para-athletics is open to athletes with a physical, intellectual or vision impairment. Athletes are required to submit medical reports and meet the minimum impairment criteria in order to compete. Eligibility is determined by trained Classifiers.

For more information on Eligible Impairments and Classification please see the Para-athletics Information Sheet (PDF – 176KB) – updated November 2021.

Rules & Equipment

Most Para-athletics disciplines, including discus, javelin, shot put and wheelchair racing, require specific sport equipment. Additionally, athletes may use assistive devices including prosthetics, rope tethers and acoustic devices.

The prosthetics used have been specifically developed to withstand the demands of competition. Leg prostheses are required in track events, but in field events they are optional.

Rope tethers and other similar devices may be used by runners with a vision impairment to link them to their sighted guides, and acoustic devices (or a sighted ‘caller’) may be used to indicate throwing targets, take-off in jumping events, etc.

Medal History

Year Gold Silver Bronze total
2020 4 7 8 19
2016 3 9 14 26
2012 5 9 13 27
2008 10 9 7 26
2004 10 12 10 32
2000 35 15 16 66
1996 19 12 12 43
1992 13 15 12 40
1988 14 19 20 53
1984 17 19 22 58
1980 8 9 17 34
1976 7 11 4 22
1972 3 4 4 11
1968 7 7 5 19
1964 2 3 0 5
1960 0 4 1 5


We encourage those wishing to explore Para-athletics to contact their state federation in the first instance. The national federation link below provides information on the national high performance program leading to competing internationally and at the Paralympic Games.

National Federation
Organisation Website
Athletics Australia
State Federations
State Organisation Website
ACT Athletics ACT
NSW Athletics NSW
NT Athletics NT
QLD QLD Athletics
SA Athletics SA
TAS Athletics TAS
VIC Athletics VIC
WA Athletics West