London Spy

Sport guide: Taekwondo

London Spy

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A demonstration sport in 1988 and 1992, taekwondo became a medal sport in 2000 and will be making its fourth full appearance at the Games.

Contestants do battle over three rounds of two minutes each in a combat zone known as 'the court' and measuring eight metres square.

The aim is to accumulate points by landing kicks and punches (the leading part of their closed hands) on your opponent's scoring zones, with one point for a valid kick or punch to the torso, two for a valid spinning kick, three for a kick to the face or side of the head and four for a turning kick to the head.

The white uniform, known as a 'dobok', is worn with coloured equipment which aids with identification — and protection. The competitor wearing blue is known as 'chung' and their red opponent is 'hong'.

The first competition in 2000 produced gold medals for six different nations, but South Korea, who won three of them, proceeded to dominate the event.

The most successful individuals are American Steven Lopez and (Iran)ian Hadi Saei, who have picked up medals at each Games since the sport was added to the full programme.

Lopez triumphed in 2000 at featherweight and in 2004 at welterweight, adding a bronze in that class in 2008, while Saei progressed from featherweight bronze in 2000 to gold in 2004 and added gold at welterweight in 2008. His achievement marks him out as (Iran)'s most successful performer at the Olympics.

1 Joel González (Spain)
2 Chutchawal Khawlaor ((Thailand))
3 Gabriel Mercedes (Dominican Republic)
3 Park Ji-Woong (Korea)
5 Rui Bragança (Portugal)
6 Wei Chen-Yang (Chinese Taipei)
7 Seyfula Magomedov (Russia)
8 Guillermo Pérez (Mexico)
1 Servet Tazegül (Turkey)
2 Mohammad Bagheri (Iran)
3 Lee Dae-Hoon (Korea)
4 Rohullah Nikpai (Afghanistan)
5 Nacha Punthong (Thailand)
6 Filip Grgic (Croatia)
7 Le Huynh Chau (Vietnam)
1 Farzad Abdollahi (Iran)
2 Yunus Sari (Turkey)
3 Nicolás García (Spain)
3 Ramin Azizov (Azerbaijan)
5 Patiwat Thongsalap (Thailand)
6 Steven Lopez (United States)
7 Issam Chernoubi (Morocco)
1 Cha Dong-Ming (Korea)
2 Yousef Karami (Iran)
3 Akmal Irgashev (Uzbekistan)
3 Carlo Molfetta (Italy)
5 Arman Chilmanov (Kazakhstan)
6 Andreas Stylianou (Cyprus)
7 Daba Modibo Keïta (Mali)
8 Jon García (Spain)
1 Wu Jingyu (China)
2 Brigitte Yagüe (Spain)
3 Kim So-Hui (Korea)
3 Yang Shu-Chun (Chinese Taipei)
5 Buttree Puedpong (Thailand)
6 Yasmina Aziez (France)
7 Sanaa Atabrour (Morocco)
8 Rukiye Yildirim (Turkey)
1 Hou Yuzhuo (China)
2 Tseng Pei-Hua Chinese Taipei
3 Ana Zaninovic (Croatia)
3 Jade Jones (Great Britain)
5 Lim Su-Jeong (Korea)
6 Lamyaa Bekkali (Morocco)
7 Hatice Kübra Yangin (Turkey)
8 Veronica Calabrese (Italy)
1 Hwang Kyung-Sun (Korea)
2 Sarah Stevenson (Great Britain)
3 Guo Yunfei (China)
3 Marina Sumic (Croatia)
5 Karine Sergerie (Canada)
6 Rangsiya Nisaisom (Thailand)
7 Helena Fromm (Germany)
8 Taimi Castellanos (Cuba)
1 Anne Caroline Graffe (France)
2 Rosana Simón (Spain)
3 An Sae-Bom (Korea)
3 Anastasia Baryshnikova (Russia)
5 María Del Rosario Espinoza (Mexico)
6 Milica Mandic (Serbia)
7 Liu Rui (China)
8 Nadin Dawani (Jordan)

There will be four weight categories each for men and women in London. Each category features 16 of the world’s best athletes and all will be contested in a knockout format with the top eight athletes in each category ranked according to their position in the world rankings.

All competitors who lose to one of the finalists will enter a repechage contest which will decide the bronze medals. The two semi-final losers meet the winners of the two repechage pools to determine the winners of two bronze medals.


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