Taekwondo at the Olympics: Did you know?

Taekwondo is a sport that is beginning to define its own history at the Olympics. Here are some facts to prove it.

• In Taekwondo competition, three athletes have competed in four consecutive Olympics, Steven Lopez (USA, male -80 kg), Sarah Stevenson (UK, female -67 kg) and Alexandros Nikolaidis (Greece, men +80 kg).


Steven Lopez is the only athlete 5 times World Champion (Jeju 2001, Garmisch 2003, Madrid 2005, Beijing 2007 and Copenhagen 2009) and has won a medal at each Olympic Game he has participated in (gold medal in the -68 kg category, Sydney 2000, gold medal in the -80 kg category, Athens 2004 and bronze medal in the -80 kg category, Beijing 2008).


Alexandros Nikolaidis is the only athlete who has won a silver medal in two Olympic Games (Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008).


Sarah Stevenson is the only woman at the end of these Games, that will have competed in 4 Olympic events. She won a bronze medal in Beijing 2008.


Steven with his brother Jean Lopez. Copenhagen 2009.


• The youngest athlete to compete in Taekwondo at London 2012 is Carolena Carstens of Panama (-49 kg). She was born on January 18, 1996, she is only 16 years.


• The oldest athlete competing in taekwondo at London 2012 is Steven Lopez from United States (-80 kg). Born November 9, 1978, he is 33.


• 11 National Olympic Committees will be participating in their first Olympic Taekwondo competition:


– Europe: Serbia and Armenia


– Asia: Cambodia, Lebanon and Tajikistan


– America: Grenada, Jamaica and Panama


– Oceania: Samoa


– Africa: Algeria, Central African Republic


• There are 4 participants of the Youth Olympic Games Singapore 2010 that will be competing in London 2012. These are Jade Jones (United Kingdom – Gold medal), Nursultan Mamaev (Kazakhstan – Silver Medal), Ruth Marie Gbagbi (Ivory Coast) and Oscar Muñoz (Colombia).


Jade Jones (GBR). Singapore 2010.


• London 2012 will be the first Olympics in which twin sisters will be participating in Taekwondo competition. They are Ana (-57 kg) and Lucija Zaninovic (-49 kg) of Croatia.


• 15 beneficiaries of the Olympic Solidarity Scholarship will be participating in Taekwondo competition at the Olympic Games of London 2012:


Africa: David-Sylvere-Patrick Boui (Central African Republic) Daba Modibo Keita (Mali), Chika Chukwumerije (Nigeria); Bineta Diedhiou (Senegal) and Khaoula Ben Hamza (Tunisia).


Asia: Davin Sorn (Cambodia); Andrea Paoli (Lebanon); Alisher Gulov (Tajikistan) and Farkhod Negmatov (Tajikistan).


Europe: Arman Yeremyan (Armenia); Carlo Molfetta (Italy); Nusa Rajher (Slovenia), Servet Tazegul (Turkey), Nur Tatar (Turkey) and Tamim Mohammed Al-Kubati (Yemen).


Brigitte Yague (Spain, F-49 kg) is the only athlete 3 times World Champion (Garmisch 2003, Beijing 2007 and Copenhagen 2009) and will compete for the second time in an Olympic Game.


Joel Gonzalez (Spain, M-58 kg) is the athlete with the highest score in the ranking (263.26 points) and has become the first athlete in Taekwondo from Spain to sign a contract with Nike.


• A pair of Australian Taekwondo athletes are ready for London – Safwan Khalil (M-58 kg) and his girlfriend, Carmen Marton (F-67 kg), will be competing in London 2012. All in family and even more, as the coach of them is the older brother of Safwan.


Rohullah Nikpai of Afghanistan (M-68 kg), winner of the first Olympic medal for Afghanistan (Bronze -58 kg – Beijing 2008), will be competing in his second Olympics in London.


Sarah Stevenson, an athlete who goes for her fourth Olympic Games.


Europe has reaffirmed its dominance in the number of athletes in Taekwondo at the Olympics with a total of 39 competitors from the 128 participants, followed by Asia with 37, America with 27, Africa with 17 and Oceania with 8.


• 30 International Referees will officiate Taekwondo competition in London 2012.


• Of the 128 athletes from Taekwondo, competing in the Olympic Games in London 2012, 40 have participated in at least one of the previous Olympic Games.



Laura Lopez Rodriguez, Exclusive masTaekwondo.com

Translation: Silvana Ramírez Cuevas




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *