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Global taekwondo body pledges fair fight

SEOUL -- Taekwondo's world body called Monday for a fair and enjoyable competition at the London Games to help the Korean martial art stay in the Olympics following judging controversies which have hit the sport.

“For taekwondo to remain an Olympic sport, competition in London must be fair and enjoyable,” Choue Chung-won, head of the Seoul-based World Taekwondo Federation (WTF), told reporters.

He said the WTF had adopted electronic scoring vests and instant video replays to ensure transparency in judging.

In London, six cameras will be installed including one in the ceiling. The WTF has also reduced the size of the court.

At the 2008 Beijing Games, fighters earned one point for an attack to the body and two for a kick to the head.

In London, they will get one point for the body, two points for a turning kick to the trunk, three points for a valid kick to the head and four points for a turning kick to the head.

Taekwondo became an Olympic sport in 2000 and will remain so at least until 2016.

But WTF officials are uncertain about the fate of the martial art as the International Olympic Committee plans to reduce the number of core sports from 26 to 25 at its general meeting next year.

Taekwondo may face a challenge from the eight sports under consideration for the 2020 Olympics — baseball, karate, roller sports, softball, sports climbing, squash, wakeboard and wushu, Yonhap News Agency said.

Judging controversies at previous Olympics have not helped taekwondo's cause, it said.

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