June 22 (Reuters) – Focus on taekwondo at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics:
THE ABSOLUTE BASICS
* Taekwondo is a full-contact combat sport developed in Korea which means “the way of kicking and punching”.
* The athletes, called taekwondoin, compete in three rounds of 2 minutes per game.
* 1 to 5 points are awarded for each strike to the chest or head, depending on the difficulty of the technique.
* Sensors inside protective gear worn by athletes help score.
HOW MANY MEDALS?
Eight gold medals are up for grabs in four weight categories each for men (-58kg, -68kg, -80kg, + 80kg) and women (-49kg, -57kg, -67kg, + 67kg).
WHAT HAPPENED IN RIO?
Jordan and Ivory Coast won their first Olympic gold medals in taekwondo. South Korea reclaimed its first place in the medal standings, with two gold and three bronze.
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT IN TOKYO?
Briton Jade Jones will try to make history by winning a third Olympic gold medal in the -57 kg category for women.
A 4D camera will be installed, offering 360 degree views of the action.
WHEN IS IT HAPPENING?
July 24 to 27
WHERE IS IT?
Makuhari Messe, a convention center in the city of Chiba, near Tokyo.
HOW DID WE GET HERE?
Taekwondo became a dominant martial art form in Korea in the early 1900s. Its first two appearances at the Summer Olympics in Seoul (1988) and Barcelona (1992) were an exhibition sport. It became an official medal event at Sydney 2000 and has maintained that status ever since.
In 2017, the world’s sport governing body officially changed its name to World Taekwondo (WT) from World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) citing the negative connotations associated with the initials used since 1973.
Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim, editing by Ed Osmond
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