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Taekwondo to be a Match for K-1

Posted March. 29, 2005 09:24,   


Taekwondo becomes more dynamic.

The World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) changed a few rules of taekwondo at a temporary International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Executive Committee meeting held at the IOC Headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The most pronounced changes are an introduction of sudden death in the event of an extra round and a reduced time of men’s matches to three two-minute rounds.

“Sudden death” is a new rule that will be applied in the event that players are tied through the end of the third round of a match in which players will win with one kick in the extra round.

The WTF intends to make the competition more interesting and powerful, removing a controversial point system in which a player wins with more points.

The WTF’s other strategy is to enhance game speed to make players participate more aggressively by changing the existing match length of three-minute rounds to two-minute rounds.

The WTF also arranged an improved measure aimed to be implemented beginning next year. It plans to reduce the taekwondo mat of 12–by-12 meters to 10-by-10 meters in order to make a back player who is defending his or her points while stepping back in a disadvantageous position.

In addition, the WTF will activate a nearly-dead fist technique in a rule category, let players wear gloves for their safety, increase the number of assistant referees from three to four in order to boost fairness of judgment, and introduce electronic equipment and color uniforms.

President of the WTF Cho Jeong-won who oversaw the meeting, in the presence of the IOC Commissioner, Jacques Rogge, commented that the Executive Committee was a historical meeting for the development of taekwondo and that it would make great contributions in enhancing taekwondo’s international statue as an Olympic sport.

Koreans Welcome Revised Rules-

Kim Se-hyeok, a coach of the S-1 team who led the Olympic team at the last Athens Olympics, said that Taekwondo has become less interesting as players fall down even after they have succeeded difficult techniques, using only their feet. Kim added that if players demonstrate their hand techniques following foot skills, they could balance themselves and they wouldn’t collapse.

Kim also mentioned that if judgment disputes, a chronic cause of controversy, would decrease, a match would become more interesting. Accordingly, Korea, a suzerain country of Taekwondo, would enjoy its enhanced international position, adding that the Korean players should adapt themselves to the new rules and stand against fierce challenges from competing countries.

Meanwhile, the WTF contracted a global partnership with Samsung Electronics, an official sponsor of the Olympics.

Hwan Soo Zang zangpabo@donga.com