SEOUL, July 22 (Korea Bizwire) – Taekwondo athletes will be wearing a different set of uniforms at this year’s summer Olympics, as their trousers will encompass designs or colors representing their home country.
“Among the 63 countries participating in taekwondo matches at Rio 2016, 20 submitted their own uniform trouser designs with national colors and flags on them,” said the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) on Friday.
During the WTF technical committee meeting in March, the federation decided to allow athletes to wear a different set of trousers other than the conventional whites, and the proposal was approved by the executive committee in May.
Initially, the committee was only going to allow single-colored trousers with no illustrations or patterns, but after receiving multiple requests from taekwondo associations across the world, the committee eventually acquiesced.
According to the Korea Taekwondo Association (KTA), Korea is not among the 20 countries that will be wearing newly-designed uniforms.
“There are opinions that as the origin of the sport, we need to uphold the tradition of the uniform,” said a KTA official. “So it’s a matter that’s going to take some time to settle.”
Furthermore, taekwondo matches during the Rio Olympics will take place in an octagon-shaped ring, instead of the traditional square, while electronic headgear will be introduced for the first time.
The WTF has made various efforts to retain taekwondo as part of the Olympic Games since its establishment as a full medal Olympic sport in 2000.
At the London Olympics in 2012, electronic body protectors and an instant video replay systems were implemented to improve impartiality in decisions.
By Kevin Lee (email@example.com)