Taekwondo, the Korean martial art that features a dazzling array of spinning and chopping kicks, made its Paralympic debut in Japan. The Games ended Sunday, with 68 athletes from 35 countries competing in taekwondo under the klieg lights at a large convention hall just outside Tokyo.

In many other sports, Paralympic athletes from wealthier countries tend to have an advantage given how much their performance can depend on technology such as customized wheelchairs or prosthetic running blades. But as in the Olympics, taekwondo has a democratizing effect because it does not require expensive equipment or large training facilities. Countries such as Croatia and Egypt, which both won relatively few medals at the Games overall, with seven apiece, had athletes on the podium in taekwondo. The only athlete from Peru to win a medal at the Tokyo Paralympics was Leonor Espinoza Carranza, who won a gold medal in the women’s under-49 kilogram event.

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