The classification rules of the International Federation for Rowing state that athletes with a physical impairment and athletes with a visual impairment are eligible to compete in the sport at the Paralympics.
Classification also groups athletes in classes, defined by the degree to which they are limited in their ability to perform activities within that sport.
Paralympic Rowing has three categories of classification, indicating the amount of functional ability a rower has. These classes define the type of boat you row in; single scull, double scull or coxed four.
The three classes in rowing can be described as follows
AS – the athletes’ impairment means they can only use their arms and shoulders to accelerate the boat. These athletes compete in a single scull boat in both men’s and women’s medal events.
TA – the athletes’ impairment means they can use their shoulders, trunk and arms to accelerate the boat. These athlete compete in a mixed double scull boat, where one male and one female make up a team.
LTA – these athletes have an impairment that affects their ability to row but are able to use their legs, trunk and arms to accelerate the boat. LTA athletes row as a mixed coxed four. No more than two of the mixed coxed four may have a visual impairment and the cox is not required to have an impairment to be eligible.
Read an overview of classification at the London 2012 Paralympic Games