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Olympic Taekwondo

posted Jul 6, 2012, 1:51 PM by Dennis Thomas   [ updated Jul 6, 2012, 1:51 PM by Dennis Thomas ]

The word Taekwondo translates into English as the way of foot and fist – an accurate description of the principles behind this Korean martial art. Powerful kicks and punches are, literally, the name of the game, which offers tension, drama and plenty of action.

Dates: Wednesday 8 August – Saturday 11 August

Venue: ExCeL

Competitors: 128 (64 men and 64 women)

Medal events: Eight (four weight categories for men and four for women)

The basics: Taekwondo contests are fought on a court measuring 8m x 8m. The object is to land kicks and punches on the opponent’s scoring zones. One point is awarded for a valid attack to the trunk protector; two points for a valid turning kick to the trunk protector; three points for a valid kick to the head; and four points for a valid turning kick to the head.

Each contest is made up of three two-minute rounds. Over their standard white uniform, known as a dobok, competitors wear coloured protective equipment. The competitor wearing blue is referred to as chung, while the competitor in red is hong.

Breaking the rules can see valuable points awarded to the opposition. Penalties range from Kyong-go (a warning penalty) for acts such as crossing the boundary line, hitting below the waist or using the knee to attack. Two Kyong-go warnings result in a point being awarded to the opponent.

A Gam-Jeom (deduction penalty) is given for actions such as attacking a fallen opponent, or intentionally attacking the face. A Gam-Jeom results in a one-point deduction. If an athlete receives four penalty deduction points, the contest is stopped and the opponent is declared the winner.

Competition format
In each weight category, the competition consists of a single elimination tournament. All competitors who lose to one of the finalists at any stage of the competition enter the repechage. The two semi-final losers meet the winners of the two repechage pools; these matches determine the winners of two bronze medals.

Did you know?
More than 60 million people in 190 countries around the world take part in Taekwondo.

More information: World Taekwondo Federation (WTF)