Taekwondo wrap up

11 August 2012

TAEKWONDO: The Australian taekwondo team of Carmen Marton and Safwan Khalil can be well satisfied with their performances at the Olympic Games, despite the disappointment of narrowly missing medals.

Both Marton and Khalil were beaten in bouts for the bronze medal in their respective weight categories – a remarkable achievement, considering Australia’s previously low world rankings when it came into the sport.

The work of Carmen and Safwan has ensured that’s all changed.

And the fact the disappointment of defeat was so raw, the signs are good for the future of the sport in Australia.

The taekwondo competition created plenty of interest. A dramatic change to the scoring structure, as well as the introduction of video replays with each fighter given ‘challenges’, created a great atmosphere at the ExCel Arena.

Head coach Ali Khalil, (the brother of Safwan), said he was immensely proud of both of our athletes.

“They left nothing out there, they gave it their absolute all,” Khalil said.

“They have had such a journey together – their families helped them raise money to be here, and then they both fought off for the bronze medal.

“Of course we are disappointed because you always want to do better, but I’m just really proud of what they did here,” Khalil said.

While much of the pre Games publicity centred around the upcoming wedding of Carmen and Safwan, talk after their campaigns had ended was not about white dresses and parties, but rather getting back to work.

“I think we’d both rather be back training and preparing for our next competition than having to plan a wedding,” Marton said.

By Damian Kelly in London