Published: Tuesday April 10, 2012 MYT 1:39:00 PM
Aussie taekwondo pair to marry after Olympics
SYDNEY (AP) - Carmen Marton and Safwan Khalil have their priorities set after being named in the Australian team for the London Olympics: first taekwondo then tie the knot.
Marton and fiance Khalil were named Tuesday by the Australian Olympic Committee, along with Khalil's brother and coach Ali, as Australia's taekwondo contingent for London. The pair, who met 10 years ago at the Junior World Championships, will marry after the Olympics.
Khalil said having Marton on the team and his brother coaching him in London "completes the puzzle."
Marton will be competing in her second Olympics after reaching the quarterfinals at Beijing four years ago, while Khalil will be attending an Olympics for the first time after narrowly missing selection in 2008.
"I feel very fortunate to be with someone who knows exactly what it is going to take to prepare and perform at the Olympic Games," Marton said. "We have both pushed the lengths of patience and understanding, especially since I am based in Melbourne, preparing with my coaches and club, and he is in Sydney preparing with his coach and club."
Khalil, who will compete in the 58-kilogram class, won his division at the recent Oceania Olympic qualifying tournament and at the 2011 World University Games.
"My ultimate goal is the gold medal but I also just want to enjoy every step, have fun and do everything right in order to achieve that gold medal," he said.
Marton and Khalil are practicing Muslims and have be mindful of Ramadan, which starts before and finishes after the Olympics, when devising their training and competition plans.
"Ramadan will be a priority for me leading into the Games," Khalil said. "I have prepared for many competitions throughout the holy month and it's quite tough. I will certainly be getting as much professional advice as I can get prior to this month.
"For a traveler, fasting may be too tough, so if I am overseas throughout that specific period then I can break my fast then make up for it later," Khalil added. "So once I get to London it will not be a problem."