The Australian family fighting for Taekwondo gold in Rio

The Australian family fighting for Taekwondo gold in Rio

Australia's first Taekwondo World Champion Carmen Marton is preparing to qualify for her third Olympics, alongside her sister and husband. With just four spots on the Olympic team for taekwondo athletes, the Martons are hoping to make it a family affair.

Carmen Marton (mah-TON) comes from a family that knows how to fight.

 

The daughter of Polish refugees, Marton made history in 2013 by becoming Australia's first taekwondo world champion.

 

"That was my childhood dream when I saw my sister train and only being 3-4 years old I knew I wanted to be the world champion."

 

The year she won, both her brother Jack and sister Caroline also made the Australian taekwondo team.

 

With both parents also graded taekwondo athletes, Jack Marton says people often ask questions.

 

"The first question they always ask is how many fights do we have at home and who wins all the fights."

 

Next month he'll be supporting his sisters at the Oceania Olympic qualifiers in Papua New Guinea.

 

The pair are in different weight categories, meaning they could both qualify for Rio.

 

Marton is hoping to win a chance at redemption, after narrowly missing out on a medal at the London 2012 Games.

 

"I knew I had the capability to come away with a medal, then to come away with nothing crushed me but I knew what I had to do to win that medal and in the following year I won the world championships."

 

Her husband - fellow Australian taekwondo athleteâ¯Safwan Khalil - is also hoping to win a ticket to Rio.

 

But Marton says the Olympics are strictly business.

 

"It's not a honeymoon if you have to train. I count it as a half holiday, we're incredibly blessed to be able to travel together in our sport."

 

Australia is sending four taekwondo athletes to Rio in the hopes of backing up the only two medals the country has won in the sport, taken at the Sydney 2000 Games.

 

Lauren Burns winning the gold and Daniel Trenton taking silver.

 

Australia's Chef de Mission Kitty Chiller says if Australia hopes to make the top five in the medal tally, we need to cast a wide net.*

 

"In respect to Australia's aim of getting to the top five of the medal tally in Rio, we can't just rely on the traditional sports of swimming and track cycling and sailing to get us into that top five."

 

And Marton's coach Alf Dell'orso is confident she can deliver.

 

"That's what we're working hard for and I suspect if all goes well she's up there to win at least one medal and we're talking about the medal, the gold medal."

 

Marton says she won't be happy with anything else.

 

"For London I made the mistake of being content with any medal, but now I know that that's not enough focus, it won't sustain me throughout the day if I'm happy with any medal I know it has to be gold."

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch