TAEKWONDO

Taekwondo is a combat sport which means “the way of kicking and punching.”

At the Summer Olympics Taekwondo made its first appearance as a demonstration sport at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. The opening ceremony featured a mass demonstration of taekwondo with hundreds of adults and children performing moves in unison. Taekwondo was again a demonstration sport at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics but it  became a full medal sport at the Sydney 2000 Games and has been consistently in the Olympics since then.

Medals are awarded in four different weight classes for both men and women.  Flyweight -58kg Men / -49kg Women, Featherweight -68kg / -57kg, Middleweight -80kg / -67kg and Heavyweight +80kg / +67kg.

For Olympic competition, there is a single elimination tournament for each of the weight categories. The winner of the tournament final receives the gold medal, and the loser receives the silver medal while a Repechage competition is conducted for the bronze medal contest.  For this, anyone who loses to a finalist in the single elimination competition enters the repechage.

The aim of taekwondo is for the athlete to kick and punch the opponent, while avoiding being kicked and punched. Points are calibrated: The most challenging techniques, such as spinning kicks to the head, score higher than punches and basic kicks to the trunk. Tactics also come into play, as penalties are awarded against those players who fall, or who exit the matted area. 

Matches are fought on a matted octagonal field of play, which encourages lively footwork and evasive movement, while demanding good use of peripheral vision. Matches consist of three rounds of two minutes each, with one-minute breaks between rounds.

The Irish Taekwondo Union (ITU) are the National Governing Body for Olympic Style Taekwondo in Ireland. They are a member of the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) and European Taekwondo Union.  The ITU aim to provide a fair and transparent pathway to athlete development and participation in World and Olympic and to promote and develop Taekwondo throughout Ireland.

They are the only organisation in Ireland who are mandated to provide the WTF Global Athlete Licence which is required to participate in WTF and Olympic Competition.

Ireland qualified an athlete for the Olympic Games for the first time in 2019 when Jack Woolley gained a named athlete spot for Tokyo 2020.

Today, taekwondo is practised by an estimated 80 million people in more than 200 countries and territories, administered by five Continental Unions (Africa, Asia, Europe, Pan America and Oceania), making it one of the world’s most popular sports.

National Federation: Irish Taekwondo Union

International Federation: World Taekwondo Federation

TAEKWONDO NEWS

Official Selection For Paris 2024 | Taekwondo

Jack Woolley officially selected to represent Team Ireland in the -58 category in Paris 2024 The Olympic Federation of Ireland has officially selected Jack Woolley to compete in the Men’s -58kg at the Olympic Games in Paris this summer. The Tallaght athlete made his Olympic debut in Tokyo, becoming the first Irish athlete to ever [...]

Performance Round Up – March

Catch up on the latest results of Team Ireland athletes throughout the month of March. Jack Woolley Qualifies in Taekwondo For Paris 2024 Three years on from the delayed Tokyo Games, where he became Ireland’s first participant in any Olympic taekwondo event, Woolley has again sealed his place in the 58kg division. Jude Gallagher adds [...]

TEAM IRELAND TAEKWONDO ATHLETES NAMED FOR EUROPEAN GAMES

23 May 2023 The Team Ireland Taekwondo athletes have been named for the European Games in Krakow, Poland next month. Tokyo 2020 Olympian Jack Woolley will compete in the -58kg category, with Leroy Nsilu Dilandu competing in the -74kg event. The two Tallaght athletes have enjoyed podium success in recent months, at GPs around Europe. […]

Jack Woolley, OFI Paris Scholarship Recipient

DESPITE being Irish Taekwondo’s first and only Olympian Jack Woolley always uses the pronoun “we” to describe his remarkable sporting journey. The sole high performance flagbearer for his sport for half a decade deliberately uses the plural to acknowledge the contribution of his parents and coach Robert Taaffe. But now Woolley’s “we” is including the […]

SELECTED ATHLETES

Jack Woolley

Jack Woolleytaekwondo BIOGRAPHY Jack was pipped, in the final qualifier, for a place in the Rio Olympics when he was just 17 and still in school. He will make history in Tokyo as Ireland’s first Olympian in Taekwondo. In 2019 he won silver at the European Championships and US Open, gold at the Australian and [...]

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