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Age, Body Size and Taekwondo Performance at the 2004 Olympic Games: Implications for Talent Detection

Willy Pieter, School of Health Sciences, Science University of Malaysia, Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia. The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between age, body size and performance of Olympic taekwondo athletes. Subjects (64 males, 60 females) participated in the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. Age, height and weight were gleaned from the official Games website. Reciprocal ponderal index (RPI, cm.kg-0.333) and lean body mass index (LBMI, cm2.kg-1) were calculated and used to predict performance within gender. Win-loss records were utilized as a marker of objective performance. In the women, 62.5% were correctly classified as winners or losers (Canonical R = 0.291, Wilks lambda = 0.916, chi24 = 4.942, p = 0.293). In the men, 62.5% of original grouped cases were correctly classified (Canonical R = 0.203, Wilks lambda = 0.959, chi24 = 2.578, p = 0.641). The Malaysian representative to the Games did not differ appreciably from her counterparts in her weight division in age (Z = 0.11), height (Z = 0.33), RPI (Z = 0.24) and LBMI (Z = 0.17). Compared to the SUKMA (Malaysian Games) 2004 participants in her weight division, however, she was older (Z = 4.12) and taller (Z = 1.75). Using Malaysian subjects, individual and group comparisons will be presented relevant to talent detection and development programs.

Pieter, W. (2004), Age, body size and taekwondo performance at the 2004 Olympic Games: implications for talent detection, 1st Regional Conference on Human Performance, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, November 30December 2.