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Sydney, Sports centre, Olympic Park, 29 September 2000, Games of the XXVII Olympiad: Sun-Hee LEE of Korea (in blue) in action against Trude GUNDERSEN of Norway during the -67kg taekwondo final. Sun-Hee LEE went on to win the gold medal. Credit: Getty Images/Billy Stickland

Various Korean forms of martial arts have existed but in the early 20th century, taekwondo became the dominant form. In 1955 a group of Korean martial arts leaders chose taekwondo as the definitive Korean martial art in an attempt to promote its development internationally.

In 1973, the Korean government recognised the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) as the legitimate governing body of the sport, and the first World Championships were held in that year.


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