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|Swimming will account for a large number of medal places due to the complex classification system, resulting in 167 seperate medal events (men and women, both individual and relay).
A medal event goes ahead if at least 10 athletes from 4 different countries have beaten or matched the minimum qualifying speed (mqs) in the discipline.
Here we offer an overview of the classification system, but we urge you to have a look at the IPC Swimming site for a complete analysis
Basically, in the case of visually impaired athletes there are 3 classifications in each style or stroke (breaststroke, butterfly etc). Physically disabled swimmers are assessed more on muscle group function (in water) for each style (freestyle - 10 groups, breaststroke - 8 groups, medley - 8 groups).
Each group and style then becomes a possible medal event (subject to minimum criteria). Athletes classified as severely disabled for one style could be grouped with minimal disabilies for another style. Having established the classification group athletes may compete in more than one event and distance so long as they meet the mqs for that event. Also not more than 4 athletes/event/country.
China and Spain will be represented by 50 and 48 swimmers respectively, from a total number of 580 paralympic swimmers.
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