Para-Taekwondo at the Paralympic Games

Para-taekwondo is the second of two new sports to be featured in the Tokyo 2021 Paralympic Games, alongside Para-Taekwondo. The sport has been established for disabled athletes since 2005 by the World Taekwondo Federation. The Paralympics is set to feature kyorugi, which is an event open to athletes with limb impairments and arm amputees.

The first ever world championships para-taekwondo event took place in 2009, since then the sport has grown in popularity by both competitors and spectators. It now features over 120 athletes, from more than 35 different countries.

Rules and regulations of the sport are similar to that of able-bodied taekwondo. With the main difference being the classifications in the Paralympic sport. Athletes are put into categories according to their disability, whether it is an upper or lower body physical impairment.

Taekwondo is a traditional Korean marital art, which means the “the way of kicking and punching”. The main aim of the sport is to combine a number of kicks on the opponent. Successfully a landing a head kick will reap the most rewards for a competitor, in terms of points. The athlete with more points at the end of the match, wins. Also, penalties can be given out for foul play. If an athlete receives too many, their opponent can earn a score.

The Paralympic sport will follow a simple routine, similar to that of many other sports. Athletes will compete in a head-to-head format for qualification. After that, the best placed competitors will move onto the knockout-stages. In which, the last two remaining athletes will compete for the gold medal.

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