Taekwondo

Taekwondo

Baku Sports Hall will be host to a number of sports in 2017 including Taekwondo, which will take place there from the 16-18 May. With eight weight categories per gender, some of the world's best athletes will be competing at their best to win gold. Taekwondo is a Korean martial art with roots back to the early days of the Korean peninsula. The word taekwondo translates into English as “the way of the foot and the hand,” which proves to be an excellent description of the sport.

The aim of the contest is to gain as many points possible, and the athlete with the highest number of points wins the contest. Points are gained by scoring valid punches to the chest and kicks to the chest and the head. Given that it is a full contact sport, both athletes wear protective gear. In the 1970s, the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) was founded and the 1st WTF World Taekwondo Championships took place in Seoul, Korea. Taekwondo developed rapidly in the years that followed and was included as a demonstration sport at the Seoul 1988 and Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games.

Its first appearance as an official Olympic event was at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Its popularity has continued to grow in recent years, and today there are more than 100 million people around the world practicing taekwondo.

Facts and figures:

  • A contest comprises of three rounds that are two minutes in duration
  • If competitors are tied after three rounds, an additional fourth round will take place – and the athlete who scores first wins the contest (this is known as the “golden point”)
  • The World Taekwondo Federation is one of the largest international federations in the world, with 206 member nations
  • Baku hosted the 1st WTF World Taekwondo Cadet championships in July 2014. With this inaugural event, youngsters aged 12-14 had a chance to compete at a global level, preparing them for future competitions as international athletes

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