Test Event for 2008 Beijing Olympic Games Kicks off in Beijing
The Good Luck Beijing 2008 International Taekwondo Invitational Tournament took place at the University of Science and Technology Beijing Gymnasium in downtown Beijing.
The event, which serves as a rehearsal for the taekwondo competition of the Beijing Olympic Games, drew a total of 126 athletes from 26 countries, along with 29 international referees.
Reflecting growing popularity of taekwondo around the world, especially in China, about 730 media people, including 618 Chinese, registered with the Organizing Committee to cover the test event.
Beijing TV, the host broadcaster of the event, broadcast live for three hours every day.
The opening day of the four-day event featured two weight categories – the men’s -58kg and the women’s -49kg. Preliminary matches for the two weight divisions were conducted between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., while quarterfinals, semifinals, repechage matches and final matches, along with awarding ceremonies, were held from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The second day will feature another two weight categories – the men’s -68kg and the women’s -57kg; the third day, the men’s -80kg and the women’s -67kg; the fourth and final day, the men’s +80kg and the women’s +67kg.
A day earlier, on Feb. 25, WTF President Chungwon Choue visited the venue to deliver a speech for 29 international referees.
“A successful refereeing and judging at taekwondo competitions, especially the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, will help ensure that taekwondo is included among the IOC’s 25 core sports for the Summer Olympic Games,” WTF President Choue said.
He continued to say that, “In this regard, the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games should be the most exemplary event for taekwondo ever in terms of refereeing and judging.”
“The WTF will take strongest action when undesirable incidents related to refereeing and judging happen at this Beijing test event. The referees and judges will no longer be allowed to officiate at the WTF-promoted events,” he said. “Coaches who receive two warnings will be removed on the spot.”