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Physiological characteristics of Malaysian national elite and subelite taekwondo athletes
  1. W J Tey1,
  2. V K W Kwong1,
  3. D Rassiah2,
  4. C H Ooi1
  1. 1Exercise Physiology Centre, Sports Science Division, National Sports Institute of Malaysia, Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  2. 2Malaysia Taekwondo Association, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


This study sought to examine a selected physiological profile of Malaysian national elite and subelite taekwondo athletes. Subjects were 33 elite (16 males, 22±3 years; 17 females, 23±3 years) and 36 subelite (20 males, 18±2 years; 16 females, 18±2 years) taekwondo athletes. They were tested for vertical and broad jumps performance, maximal running speed, shuttle run performance and muscular strength using a standard physiological test battery. Height (male: 175±5 cm vs 175±7 cm; female: 163±7 cm vs 160±6 cm) and mass (male: 67.7±9.6 kg vs 64.7±10.0 kg; female: 59.9±11.0 kg vs 55.1±9.4 kg) were not different between the elite and subelite groups. Performance in countermovement jump (male: 42.0±6.4 cm vs 36.1±4.4 cm; female: 32.0±3.5 cm vs 28.8±4.3 cm), 20-m maximal sprint (male: 3.08±0.08 s vs 3.26±0.12 s; female: 3.48±0.12 s vs 3.73±0.12 s), 20-m multistage shuttle run (male: 107±17 shuttles vs 82±18 shuttles; female: 79±13 shuttles vs 61±20 shuttles), 5-m multiple shuttle test (male: 726±21 m vs 654±41 m; female: 638±33 m vs 588±44 m) and predicted 1 RM bench press (male: 61±10 kg vs 49±0 kg; female: 45±13 kg vs 31±2 kg) were significantly better in elite than subelite (p<0.05). Elite male and female taekwondo athletes were able to jump higher or further, move faster with better aerobic and anaerobic fitness as well as greater upper body strength, when compared to their subelite counterparts. It is unknown whether a superior physiological fitness may be relevant to success in taekwondo performance at elite level. However, a better physical condition in elite taekwondo athletes in the present study could be the result of training adaptation with the fact that the elite taekwondo athletes were 4-5 years older than subelite ones.

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