London 2012: Analysis, part III
Part III: The downfall of Korean Taekwondo.
At 10.30 p.m. on August 11th, the last day of the Taekwondo competition, the finals were taking place at the Excel Centre and the Korean Olympic team was nowhere to be seen.
The +67kg Korean athlete In-Jong Lee had even lost the bronze medal against Russian Anastasia Baryshnikova, and the Korean team decided to leave the venue and move to a Korean restaurant nearby.
The overall result of the Korean team in London 2012 was 1 gold medal and 1 silver medal. Thus, it was the first time that not even a bronze medal was won.
There was a depressing atmosphere. London 2012 was a failure compared to Beijing 2008, when the Korean team won 4 gold medals.
The head coach, Se-Hyuk Kim, said, “I take all the responsibility. The athletes and coaches have done all their best, so I want to take full responsibility of the results in the Olympics”. Although the head coach might feel responsible for the poor results, he is not the only one to take the blame.
The poor results were already expected before the Olympics, as judged by their performance during the past few years at the Asian Games, World Taekwondo Championships, and other international competitions.
Following the results and the concern about Korean Taekwondo, the Korean Taekwondo Association did their best to solve this by gathering Taekwondo specialists such as University professors, reporters, etc., to discuss about the issue.
As already widely known, the reasons were found to be the use of electronic protectors not recognized by the WTF, the use of different competition rules, poor and inconstant management of the Korean team, short training before competitions, too little experience competing in international championships with respect to national championships, etc.
Although the Korean Taekwondo Association agreed with such points, they did not make any changes to the current situation. They still used their own electronic protector and their own rules. They did set up a full-time Korean National team, but it was not managed at all.
The Korean team still relied on their pride as the mother country of Taekwondo, and the results of such attitude came out in London 2012.
As seen in the London Olympics, the Korean athletes are no longer feared by their opponents from around the world.
The Korean Taekwondo failed in London 2012. Without a serious self-reflection and endeavor, the golden age of Korean Taekwondo will never come back.[:]