We have three finals to look forward to this evening, the Men’s 200m Individual Medley SM8 Final at Tollcross International Swimming Pool, then over to Hampden Park athletics track for the Women’s 100m T12 Final and the Men’s 100m T37 Final.

So what do the terms SM8, T12 and T37 actually mean?


Swimming is the only sport that combines the conditions of limb loss, cerebral palsy (co-ordination and movement restrictions), spinal cord injury (weakness or paralysis involving any combination of the limbs) and other disabilities (such as dwarfism and major joint restriction conditions) across classes.

The Prefix
S denotes freestyle, backstroke and butterfly.
SB denotes breaststroke.
SM denotes individual medley.

The Numbering
1-10: Swimmers with a physical disability. The lower the number, the more severe the disability.

11-13: Swimmers with a visual impairment.

14: Swimmers with an intellectual disability.

The prefix and class number provide a range of classifications, from swimmers with severe disability (S1, SB1, SM1) to those with minimal disability (S10, SB9, SM10).

In any one class, swimmers may start with a dive or already in the water. This is taken into account when classifying an athlete.

Swimmers may have a classification that varies according to their event – for example, it may change between breaststroke and backstroke, according to the effect of their disability on the event in question.

T12 and T37

All disability groups can compete in athletics but a system of letters and numbers is used to distinguish between them.

A letter F is for field athletes, T represents those who compete on the track, and the number shown refers to their disability.

11-13: Track and field athletes who are visually impaired. Blind athletes compete in class 11 and are blindfolded and run with a guide runner. Athletes in class 12 are visually impaired but may choose to run with a guide.

20: Track and field athletes who are intellectually disabled. There are three events for men and women in the London programme – 1500m, long jump and shot put.

31-38: Track and field athletes with cerebral palsy or other conditions that affect muscle co-ordination and control. Athletes in class 31-34 compete in a seated position; athletes in class 35-38 compete standing.

40: Track and field athletes with short stature (dwarfism).

42-46: Track and field amputees. In class 42-44 the legs are affected and in class 45-46 the arms are affected. Athletes in these classes compete standing and do not use a wheelchair

T51-54: Wheelchair track athletes. Athletes in class 51-53 are affected in both lower and upper limbs while T54 athletes have partial trunk and leg functions

F51-58: Wheelchair field athletes. Athletes in F51-54 classes have limited shoulder, arm and hand functions and no trunk or leg function while F54 athletes have normal function in their arms and hands. In the F55-58 classes the trunk and leg function increases.


With thanks to the BBC