By Daniel Etchells at Queretaro Convention Centre

Chungwon Choue (left) insists taekwondo needs to continue to evolve to maintain its standing as a Summer Olympic Games core sport ©WTFChungwon Choue, President of the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF), claims the sport needs to continue to evolve in order to maintain its standing as one of the core Olympic disciplines. 

Taekwondo became a full Olympic medal sport at Sydney 2000, having featured as a demonstration sport at Seoul 1988 and Barcelona 1992. 

More recently, at the 125th International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session in Buenos Aires in September 2013, taekwondo was named as one of the 25 sports that will form the main body of the Tokyo 2020 programme.

The next such Session will be held in 2017 and Choue stressed the importance of ensuring that the sport doesn't stand still to keep its place among the Summer Olympic Games' elite. 

"We will do our best in order to promote our sport and also make our sport more fair and transparent," he told insidethegames. 

"After every Olympic Games, we change a little bit, little by little, such as shrinking the competition area and introducing new competition rules and regulations.

"In Rio [at the 2016 Olympic Games], we are introducing the octagonal shape of the competition area for the first time and we are already studying [the possibility of] having new uniforms, using different materials for the athletes."

Chungwon Choue (left) at the WTF Grand Prix final in Queretaro ©WTFChungwon Choue (left) at the WTF Grand Prix final in Queretaro ©WTF

One major way in which the sport has developed in recent years is through the use of the Protection Scoring System (PSS), consisting of body armour fitted with electronic body protector sensors that register kicks and punches if applied with sufficient force.

The introduction of PSS at London 2012 signalled a move away from subjective decision making towards a more objective and inclusive system, not solely relying on the opinions of a select few officials.

The system was further developed to incorporate the use of head-gear and was first used in its revised form at the Manchester leg of the WTF Grand Prix Series in October.

It was used again at the two-day WTF Grand Prix final which concluded yesterday and will also be incorporated within the WTF World Cup Taekwondo Team Championships due to begin tomorrow.

Choue said he believes the use of the PSS system at Rio 2016 will make taekwondo a more interesting spectacle than at London 2012.

Prior to its introduction, taekwondo's place at the Olympics had been under threat following heavy criticism after Beijing 2008, when one incident in particular highlighted problems.

At the end of a women's 67 kilogram quarter-final, home fighter Chen Zhong was declared winner against Great Britain's Sarah Stevenson before British officials protested, claiming referees missed a scoring kick by Stevenson, which was supported by video footage.

Chen's victory was rescinded and Stevenson advanced to the semi-final, in what marked the first time in Olympic taekwondo history that a result was changed.

Read Daniel Etchells' blog Taekwondo riding the crest of a wave in Mexico by clicking here

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