By Tom Degun at the Main Press Centre on the Olympic Park in London

Patrick Jarvis_Sept_1September 1 - Classification of athletics at the Games is "inherently unfair", International Paralympic Committee (IPC) governing board member Patrick Jarvis (pictured) admitted, amid a wave of protests from some of America's top swimmers.

United States' eight-time world champion Mallory Weggemann (pictured below) was reclassified from an S6 to an S8, a category with more able-bodied athletes, on the eve of competition.

The 23-year-old from Kansas said she "lost faith" in the system after the reclassification and now faces the prospect of not getting a medal after being favourite to win nine golds.

"I wouldn't say it's a worry, but classification is what makes us a distinct sport," Jarvis (pictured above) said at a press conference here.

"By its nature, classification is inherently unfair.

"What we've tried for is to get it right.

Mallory Weggemann_in_action_swimming_Sept_1
"We're constantly adjusting and there's been incredible progress made.

"At the end of the day, it's as fair as possible both for the overall competition and the integrity and expectations of the individual athletes."

Jarvis, a Paralympian and former President of the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC), said it cannot be underestimated how far the Paralympic Movement has come in recent years.

"To say there's been significant changes is a gross understatement; much of it due to the great exposure and coverage the media is providing to the Paralympic Games."

"When I was competing in 1992 and first got involved in 1986, we had just moved from recreation and were just embarking on the realm of high performance sport.

"At that time, we were grouped by disability.

Justin Zook_at_Beijing_2008_Sept_1
"Looking at the Canadian experience, you didn't show up to compete in athletics, swimming or as a rugby player.

"You showed up as an amputee, person with cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury – you were grouped by your disability.

"That is certainly not the case anymore.

"The difference is we've moved from a world of pity, sympathy and curiosity to what I would consider now incredible respect and almost awe at some of the incredible performances that some of the athletes are delivering."

Weggemann's compatriots Justin Zook (pictured above) and Victoria Arlen also experienced reclassification.

Zook was moved from S9 to S10 and Arlen, a major rival to Ellie Simmonds, was ruled ineligible for the S6 class before her appeal against the ruling was upheld, although the IPC said it would not make a final decision until they observed her in competition.

Victoria Arlen_London_2012_Sept_1
However, after winning her heat this morning (pictured above), the IPC has ruled that she is eligible to compete against Simmonds in the final.

"IPC Swimming can confirm that following this morning's heat in the Aquatics Centre the USA's Victoria Arlen will continue to compete in the S6 class with a review date set for August 2013," said a statement.

"Due to the different technicality of stroke required in breaststroke a similar observation in competition will take place in her first SB race."

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August 2012: US swimming star Weggemann so shocked by reclassification she has "lost faith" in Paralympic system
August 2012: New ruling says USA's Arlen will swim against Britain's Simmonds
August 2012: US Paralympic swimming stars reclassified ahead of competition