By David Gold

ITU IPC_london_2012September 19 - Officials from the International Triathlon Union (ITU) are stepping up preparations for the sport's Paralympic debut at Rio de Janeiro 2016.

Marisol Casado, the ITU President, and Sarah Springman, the governing body's vice-president, made the most of their time during London 2012, meeting with International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President Sir Philip Craven to update him on the progress the sport was making in its preparations for 2016.

"Witnessing the Paralympic Games up close and personal has been a wonderful experience and ITU is motivated more than ever to deliver a spectacular Paratriathlon competition at Rio 2016," Casado said.

"The meetings and sessions have been incredibly valuable as ITU prepares for a significant milestone in our sport when Paratriathlon takes its place in the Paralympic Games in 2016."

Joining Casado and Springman were Paratriathlon coordinator Eric Angstadt Torres and senior manager of technical operations Thanos Nikopoulos.

The ITU took part in a number of roundtable sessions on planning and implementation, as well as a sport overview as part of the IPC Observers Programme.

Marisol Casado_and_Sarah_Springman_met_with_Sir_Philip_Craven_at_London_2012Marisol Casado (right) and Sarah Springman (left) met with Sir Philip Craven at London 2012

They also met with officials from athletics, swimming and the IPC governing board to discuss sport specific operational issues such as classification.

Triathlon made its Olympic debut back in 2000, and was awarded its place on the Paralympic programme in 2010.

The ITU has been supporting the growth of Paratriathlon for 15 years and has held a world championships each year since 1995.

Paratriathlon features a 750-metre swim, followed by a 20-kilometre bike ride and 5km race.

Wheelchair users, amputees and visually impaired athletes all take part in Paratriathlon, classified according to the level of their respectively disabilities.

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