Ayer admits PSS was crucial for the Olympic survival
Jean-Marie Ayer, Secretary General of the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF), admitted that the permanence of Taekwondo within the Olympic programme of the 2016 and 2020 Games is directly related to the sport’s successful embracing of new technologies introduced in London 2012.
Mr Ayer made this statement after representing Taekwondo at the Conference on Smart Textile Opportunities for Sport organized last Wednesday November 13th in Lausanne by the International Academy for Sports Science and Technology (AISTS) in conjunction with the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM).
The conference, which took place at the Rolex Learning Centre, discussed the influence of technology across a variety of different sports, both at Olympic and grassroots levels. During the meeting, Taekwondo’s introduction of a new scoring system (PSS) in the aftermath of criticism at Beijing 2008 was hailed as a good example of this evolution, as it’s something that has “changed the whole dynamic of the sport.”
This was something accepted by Ayer, who admitted it had played a key role in the International Olympic Committee (IOC) preserving Taekwondo’s Olympic status, confirmed at the 125th IOC Session, held last September in Buenos Aires (Argentina).
“To stay in the Olympics one of the things we had to do is develop methods to make sure the judging was correct and that we had absolutely no mistakes,” told Mr Ayer to a reporter of insidethegames.
“When you see someone kicking you can’t really tell from a distance whether it was strong enough to score or not, so the technology is really helping us. By doing this we have fulfilled one of the IOC criteria that they set for our sport.”, he added.
Ayer admitted there had been problems before the introduction of the new system, with the controversy surrounding a head kicks in the final stages of relevant competitions such as Beijing 2008.
“In Beijing we were not ready with all the technology – electronic scoring and video replay’s have proven to be very important decision,” he said.
“We have been very honest in evaluating what happened there and made a conscious decision to make the sport different. Feedback is very good from athletes and coaches as they know they are not going to be unfairly judged and this gives them a level of control which is very high.”
This view regarding taekwondo was endorsed by another speaker, Jan-Anders Månson, President of AISTS, who described Taekwondo as one of the best examples of the use in technology in sport – and “as a major example for the use of fair play and safety.”
Source: Insidethegames (Nick Butler)