LONDON 20124

Australia's Taekwondo team waits patiently before the big day

Safwan Khalil may be the envy of Australia's Olympic camp. While Carmen Marton, who finished ninth in her less than 67kg category at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, has come to London to challenge the same event.

Carmen Marton (L) and Safwan Khalil (R) of the Australian Olympic Taekwondo team pose during a portrait session at Global Martial Arts on May 18, 2012 in Sydney, Australia.


While fellow Australians battle nerves about impending and progressing competition, and other campaigns have already ended, the Games debutant is relaxing with more than another week until his taekwondo event begin.


“I’m on August 8, I’m day 12, so I’ve got a little bit of time to enjoy these sort of receptions and go and see other events,” the smiling 26-year-old told guests at an Australian Olympic Committee function on Sunday.

“I actually watched our girls win the first gold medal for Australia … so we’re just enjoying the first week, acclimatising, still doing our training, and Monday we’ll start training a little bit more.”


Khalil will compete in the men’s less than 58kg class. While his older brother Ali Khalil is in London as the the Australian taekwondo coach, the younger sibling won’t have any immediate family cheering in the audience, as they remain at home observing Ramadan.


“I only have a small family, there’s only about 400 of us,” Khalil joked.

“So (Mum’s) got to cook and prepare food for everyone back home because we are fasting for Ramadan now and my father as well is working long hours.” “So they’re glued to the TV and they’re just going to have to support from home.”


Khalil is far from lonely however, with fiance and fellow Australian taekwondo competitor Carmen Marton, 26, in camp. The couple got engaged in 2009 and are waiting until after the Games to think about marriage plans.

“When I did propose to Carmen one of the conditions from her father was `after London’, so … we’re just taking it day by day at the moment,” Khalil said.



Source: Nine Wide World of Sports


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