February 24, 2020 / 7:57 PM / a month ago

Key facts about karate at the Tokyo 2020 Games

(Reuters) - The 2020 Tokyo Olympics includes 33 sports. Karate is one of five sports added to the program for the Games.

Here are some key facts about karate at the Olympics.

Introduced: The IOC announced in 2016 that karate - along with baseball/softball, surfing, skateboarding and sport climbing - would be included at the Tokyo Games. This is the first time karate has featured in the modern Olympics.

Karate is not, however, a permanent addition to the program and is unlikely to feature in the 2024 Games.

Events: Competition is broken down between kata and kumite events, with kata athletes demonstrating a pre-set series of movements against a virtual opponent and kumite athletes sparring with one another one-on-one.

There are three kumite events for men and three for women, broken down by weight class, and one kata event each.

Scoring and technique: In kata, competitors will be judged on a variety of factors, including the power and speed of hits and kicks, as well as the transition from various movements.

In kumite competition, athletes secure points for landing hits on their opponents. Athletes can earn between one and three points per hit, with three points reserved for the toughest maneuvers, including an upper-level kick.

Top competitors: With no Olympic precedent set, the field is wide open for the 80 athletes expected to compete.

Japan, the country from which karate originated, has claimed the most medals in world championship competition.

Sources: International Olympic Committee, Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, WKF

(Graphics: Karate - here)

Reporting by Amy Tennery; Editing by Ken Ferris

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