Sarah Stevenson preview: A guide to tae kwon do at London 2012

Olympic hero Sarah Stevenson, aged 25, shows off her taekwondo bronze medal back home in Bentley, Doncaster, yesterday (26 August 2008).

Olympic hero Sarah Stevenson, aged 25, shows off her taekwondo bronze medal back home in Bentley, Doncaster, yesterday (26 August 2008).

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DONCASTER’S Sarah Stevenson takes to the mats on Friday morning in the -67kg tae kwon do competition.

Here’s your guide to the format of the event and the rules of tae kwon do:

Format

IN each weight category, the competition consists of a single elimination tournament.

There are 16 competitors in the -67kg category, fighting it out in a premliminary round, quarter-final, semi-final and then final.

Each contest is made up of three two-minute rounds.

The winners of each contest qualify for the next round, with the two finalists going head to head in the gold medal contest.

All competitors who lose to one of the finalists at any stage of the competition enter the repechage.

The two semi-final losers meet the winners of the two repechage pools; these matches determine the winners of two bronze medals.

Rules

n THE object of tae kwon do is to land kicks and punches on the opponent’s scoring zones.

n ONE point is awarded for a valid attack to the trunk protector.

n TWO points for a valid turning kick to the trunk protector.

n THREE points for a valid kick to the head.

n FOUR points for a valid turning kick to the head.

Infringing the rules can see valuable points awarded to the opposition.

Penalties range from Kyong-go (a warning penalty) for acts such as crossing the boundary line, hitting below the waist or using the knee to attack.

Two Kyong-go warnings result in a point being awarded to the opponent.

More seriously, a Gam-Jeom (deduction penalty) is given for actions such as attacking a fallen opponent, or intentionally attacking the face.

A Gam-Jeom results in a one-point deduction.

If an athlete receives four penalty deduction points, the contest is stopped and the opponent is declared the winner.