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PIISPANEN Toni
Sport Athletics
NPC Finland   
GenderMen
Age40
Place of BirthHelsinki, FIN
Height1.75 m
Weight 62 kg
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Type of Impairment
Spinal Cord Injuries
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
T51
Further Personal Information
Marital status
Married
Family
Wife Anu, daughters Saga and Unna-Liina
Residence
Helsinki, FIN
Occupation
Public Speaker
Languages
English, Finnish
Higher education
Sport Management, Sports Science - University of Jyvaskyla: Finland
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
He took up wheelchair rugby two years after his accident and played for 15 years. In 2008 he switched to wheelchair racing.
Why this sport?
"I have always been quick and I wanted a challenge on the side of wheelchair rugby."
Club / Team
Espoon Tapiot: Finland
Name of coach
Juha Flinck [national], FIN; Teemu Janhunen [personal], FIN
General Interest
Nicknames
Rasmus ["I got it from a wheelchair rugby staff person who thought for two years that my name was Rasmus"]. (Athlete, 25 Aug 2011)
Most influential person in career
His father. (Athlete, 30 Aug 2012)
Hero / Idol
Finnish boxer Amin Asikainen. (Athlete, 25 Aug 2011)
Injuries
He suffered from hand and shoulder injuries in late 2015. (yleisurheilu.fi, 15 Mar 2016)

In January 2015 he underwent surgery on his left elbow. (tonipiispanen.fi, 01 Feb 2015)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"The best athletes train, even when others do not see." (Athlete, 25 Aug 2011)
Awards and honours
He was named the Athlete with an Impairment of the Year in 2012 and 2015 by the Espoon Tapiot sports club in Finland. He also received the same award at the 2013 Finnish Sports Gala. (herbalifespotlight.com, 2014; espoontapiot.fi, 15 Nov 2015)
Other sports
He competed in karate before his accident. He also played wheelchair rugby for 15 years before taking up para-athletics. (Athlete, 25 Aug 2011)
Impairment
He sustained a spinal cord injury after an accident at a karate show in 1993. He was injured in front of 700 spectators at the sport hall in Lahti, Finland. (Athlete, 25 Aug 2011)
Other information
OTHER ACTIVITIES
He is as a member of the Finnish National Sports Council. He was also chosen as a support athlete for the 2016 Euro Games in Helsinki, Finland. (2016.eurogames.info, 29 Dec 2015)

Competition Highlights (historical)
Paralympic Games
Rank Year Event Result
1 2012 100m T51 21.72
4 2016 100m T51 22.02 
World Championships
Rank Year Event Result
3 2011 200m T51 49.19
2 2011 100m T51 22.71
1 2013 100m T51 22.59
2 2013 200m T51 40.90
2 2015 100m T51 21.43
3 2015 400m T51 1:28.25
European Championships
Rank Year Event Result
1 2014 400m T51 1:35.97
1 2014 100m T51 23.56
2 2016 100m T51 20.92
3 2016 400m T51 1:25.98