India has never won a medal in taekwondo at the Olympics. In fact, the country only started competing in the sport in 2000. But that doesn’t mean that India’s taekwondo players aren’t giving it their all in Rio. Let’s take a look at how they’re doing.
Sushil Kumar Entered as the Country’s First Male Taekwondo Player
The first Indian male taekwondo player to compete in the Olympics was Sushil Kumar. He participated in the 2008 Beijing games and the 2012 London games but was unable to medal. In Rio, Kumar is once again representing India in taekwondo. He is currently ranked 50th in the world and will be competing in the 80kg+ weight class.
Pooja Dhanda Is Ranked 9th in The World
Pooja Dhanda is India’s first female taekwondo Olympian and she is currently ranked 9th in the world. Dhanda will be representing India in the 57kg weight class.
She caused a bit of a stir when she chose to wear a hijab during her bronze medal match at the 2015 World Taekwondo Championships, becoming the first Indian woman to do so in an international competition.
Sharath Gayakwad Will Be Competing In His Second Paralympic Games
Sharath Gayakwad will be representing India in the men’s 74kg Paralympic taekwondo competition. This will be his second time competing in the Paralympics; he previously competed in London 2012 where he lost his opening round match.
Gayakwad has been declared clinically blind by doctors but he says that hasn’t stopped him from pursing his passion for taekwondon. “It [taekwondo] has given me confidence,” Gayakward told The Hindu newspaper. “I want to inspire people with disabilities.”
Conclusion: Taekwondo Players
India might not have had much success in taekwondon at the Olympics thus far, but that doesn’t mean that the country’s athletes aren’t giving it their all. With hard work and dedication, maybe one of these athletes will make history and bring home a medal for India. We’ll be cheering them on every step of the way!
Frequently Ask Questions
What is Taekwondo?
Taekwondo is a Korean martial art that focuses on kicking and striking. It is an Olympic sport that has been around since the 1950s.
What country is taekwondo most popular in?
Taekwondo is most popular in Korea, where it originated. However, it is also practiced in many other countries around the world, including India.
What is the difference between Olympic taekwondo and Paralympic taekwondo?
The main difference is that Paralympic taekwondo is for athletes with disabilities. Other than that, the rules and scoring are the same.
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