Weight Categories in Taekwondo

Weight Categories in Taekwondo
Published: 2021-04-11
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Weight categories in combat sports were established to standardize conditions in championships, allowing athletes to compete against similar opponents. In taekwondo, weight categories are divided according to the type of competition and the age of the participants:

- World Category (senior athletes at least 17 years old)

- Olympic Category

- Junior Category (junior athletes between 15 and 17 years old)

- Youth Olympic Category

- Cadet Category (athletes between 12 and 14 years old)

The World and Olympic categories are for senior athletes. Most of the domestic / international taekwondo competitions for senior practitioners have traditionally consisted of 16 weight classes, eight for men and eight for women (World Category). The Olympic category is reduced to 8 categories (4 for men, 4 for women). This distinction exists because the number of Taekwondo participants in the Olympic Games is limited to 128 athletes only (8 categories X16 athletes). World Taekwondo, which is the organization that manages Olympic Taekwondo, decided to reduce the number of weight categories usually used in the World Championships from 16 to 8 categories in order to have a sufficient number of athletes present at the Olympic Games in each category (we will see in another blog, how taekwondo athletes qualify for the Olympic Games).

World Weight categories (senior athletes at least 17 years old)

Men‟s division

Women‟s division

Under 54kg

Not exceeding 54kg

Under 46kg

Not exceeding 46 kg

Under 58kg

Over 54 kg & Not exceeding 58 kg

Under 49kg

Over 46 kg & Not exceeding 49 kg

Under 63kg

Over 58 kg & Not exceeding 63 kg

Under 53kg

Over 49 kg & Not exceeding 53 kg

Under 68kg

Over 63 kg & Not exceeding 68 kg

Under 57kg

Over 53 kg & Not exceeding 57 kg

Under 74kg

Over 68 kg & Not exceeding 74 kg

Under 62kg

Over 57 kg & Not exceeding 62 kg

Under 80kg

Over 74 kg & Not exceeding 80 kg

Under 67kg

Over 62 kg & Not exceeding 67 kg

Under 87kg

Over 80 kg & Not exceeding 87 kg

Under 73kg

Over 67 kg & Not exceeding 73 kg

Over 87kg

Over 87 kg

Over 73kg

Over 73 kg

 

Olympic Weight Categories

Men‟s division

Women‟s division

Under 58kg

Not exceeding 58kg

Under 49kg

Not exceeding 49kg

Under 68kg

Over 58kg & not exceeding 68kg

Under 57kg

Over 49kg & not exceeding 57kg

Under 80kg

Over 68kg & not exceeding 80kg

Under 67kg

Over 57kg & not exceeding 67kg

Over 80kg

Over 80kg

Over 67kg

Over 67kg


Junior Weight Categories (junior athletes between 15 and 17 years old)

Men‟s division

Women‟s division

Under 45kg

Not exceeding 45kg

Under 42kg

Not exceeding 42 kg

Under 48kg

Over 45 kg & Not exceeding 48 kg

Under 44kg

Over 42 kg & Not exceeding 44 kg

Under 51kg

Over 48 kg & Not exceeding 51 kg

Under 46kg

Over 44 kg & Not exceeding 46 kg

Under 55kg

Over 51 kg & Not exceeding 55 kg

Under 49kg

Over 46 kg & Not exceeding 49 kg

Under 59kg

Over 55 kg & Not exceeding 59 kg

Under 52kg

Over 49 kg & Not exceeding 52 kg

Under 63kg

Over 59 kg & Not exceeding 63 kg

Under 55kg

Over 52 kg & Not exceeding 55 kg

Under 68kg

Over 63 kg & Not exceeding 68 kg

Under 59kg

Over 55 kg & Not exceeding 59 kg

Under 73kg

Over 68 kg & Not exceeding 73 kg

Under 63kg

Over 59 kg & Not exceeding 63 kg

Under 78kg

Over 73 kg & Not exceeding 78 kg

Under 68kg

Over 63 kg & Not exceeding 68 kg

Over 78kg

Over 78 kg

Over 68kg

Over 68 kg

 

Youth Olympic Weight categories

Men‟s division

Women‟s division

Under 48kg

Not exceeding 48kg

Under 44kg

Not exceeding 44kg

Under 55kg

Over 48kg & not exceeding 55kg

Under 49kg

Over 44kg & not exceeding 49kg

Under 63kg

Over 55kg & not exceeding 63kg

Under 55kg

Over 49kg & not exceeding 55kg

Under 73kg

Over 63kg & not exceeding 73kg

Under 63kg

Over 55kg & not exceeding 63kg

Over 73kg

Over 73kg

Over 63kg

Over 63kg

Cadet Weight Categories (athletes between 12 and 14 years old)

Men‟s division

Women‟s division

Under 33kg

Not exceeding 33kg

Under 29kg

Not exceeding 29kg

Under 37kg

Over 33kg & not exceeding 37kg

Under 33kg

Over 29kg & not exceeding 33kg

Under 41kg

Over 37kg & not exceeding 41kg

Under 37kg

Over 33kg & not exceeding 37kg

Under 45kg

Over 41kg & not exceeding 45kg

Under 41kg

Over 37kg & not exceeding 41kg

Under 49kg

Over 45kg & not exceeding 49kg

Under 44kg

Over 41kg & not exceeding 44kg

Under 53kg

Over 49kg & not exceeding 53kg

Under 47kg

Over 44kg & not exceeding 47kg

Under 57kg

Over 53kg & not exceeding 57kg

Under 51kg

Over 47kg & not exceeding 51kg

Under 61kg

Over 57kg & not exceeding 61kg

Under 55kg

Over 51kg & not exceeding 55kg

A taekwondo sparring athlete is usually scheduled for a fixed weight class and must not exceed the upper limit when participating to a competition.

A competitor typically weighs more between championships than at tournament time. Part of the process of training for a match is "getting down to fighting weight". The weigh-in takes place the day before the tournament. Competitors typically stand on a scale barefoot and without the uniform, belt, or sparring gears.

A competitor who is over the weight limit may strip naked to make the weight if the excess is minimal; otherwise, one can try again later, typically after losing weight through dehydration through vigorous exercise. If the excess weight is too big, the effort expended trying to "make weight" will make the competitor unfit for the fight itself. In such cases, the competitor may be disqualified from the tournament by the officials.

At the time of weigh-in, the contestant must be between the weight class's upper and lower limits of his/her weight category. The weight limit is defined by the criterion of one decimal place away from the stated limit. For example, not exceeding 50kg is established as up to 50.0kg with 50.1kg being over the limit resulting in disqualification. Over 50.00 kg marks occur at the 50.1kg reading and 50.0kg and under is regarded as insufficient, resulting in disqualification.