October 1 - The International Triathlon Union (ITU) today officially announced the appointment of New Zealand's Marguerite Christophers (pictured) as the head of classification for Paratriathlon as it steps up its bid to be included in the Rio 2016 Paralympics.

Classification governs physically challenged competition categories, which are established based on physical disabilities. 

In Paratriathlon, athletes are currently classified into one of six categories. 

Already a member of ITU's Paratriathlon Committee, the duties of Christophers' new post - which is a voluntary role - include administering and coordinating all classification matters relating to Paratriathlon and overseeing classifier training and certification. 

Christophers is ideally suited to the role as she is already the classification coordinator for Paralympics New Zealand and she has also served as head classifier for New Zealand Paratriathlon and Paracycling.

Continuing to drive towards inclusion in the Paralympic Games, ITU has supported the development and growth of Paratriathlon for over 15 years, including holding a World Championship every year since 2003.

Last month ITU staged the world's largest Paratriathlon in Budapest, Hungary at the World Championships.

Paratriathlon is one of seven sports hoping to be included in Rio 2016.

The others who have applied are badminton, canoe, golf, powerchair football, taekwondo and triathlon while basketball have requested additional inclusion for their sport for athletes with an Intellectual Disability (ID athletes).

The International Paralympic Committee is due to make its decision at a meeting in December.

Related stories
September 2010:
 Paratriathlon Rio bid boosted by Budapest World Championships
July 2010: British Paratriathletes enjoy success in Hyde Park
July 2010: Seven sports apply to be included on programme for Rio 2016
July 2010: Exclusive - Triathlon launches bid to be included in Rio Paralympics