London 2012: Analysis, part II
Part II: London, end of the old era
The London 2012 Olympics have shown the changes that are happening in the world of Taekwondo.
Starting with South Korea, old protagonists such as Iran, Mexico, the Lopez family from the US, etc. have returned home with worse-than-expected results.
Conversely, Spain, Italy, France, Great Britain, and other European countries have impressed us with their technique and power. Spain went home with excellent results: 3 participants yielded 1 gold and 2 silver medals.
The reason seems to be that the old glories have not fully adapted to the changes. After the Beijing 2008 Olympics, Taekwondo started evolving rapidly. The PSS was implemented, head kicks started to worth 3 points, and behaviors that might affect the normal flow of a match (such as avoiding the fight, grabbing the opponent, etc.) are punished strictly with a gyeong-go.
South Korea uses mainly a non-WTF Recognized PSS, and the selection of the Olympic athletes was done following their own rules. The pride of being the mother country of Taekwondo was a big obstacle, as reflected in the results.
On the other hand, Spain, Italy, France, etc. started using the most rapidly evolving PSS, trained according to the new rules, and got help from advanced sports science. As a result, they have been rewarded in London 2012.
The important thing in this edition of the Olympics is that these results are not temporary. It is a reflection that Korea has been performing poorly for some years, and that Europe is becoming stronger.
The London 2012 have sent a strong message to the Taekwondo federations. It is up to each federation whether to follow or not the worldwide changes led by the WTF, however, they have to be responsible for own results.
It is time for the Taekwondo athletes to decide whether to stay in the old era, or to evolve according to the new era.[:]