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Australia taekwondo team a perfect match
SYDNEY (Reuters) - Taekwondo fighter Carmen Marton has two big events pencilled in for 2012 and her fiance Safwan Khalil will now be with her at both after they were named as the Australia team for the London Olympics on Tuesday.
Marton, who reached the quarter-finals at the Beijing Olympics, and Khalil, who will be making his Games debut in London, plan to marry later this year, a decade after meeting at the taekwondo junior world championships.
"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," said Marton, who will compete in the women's under 67 kg class at the ExCeL in London's docklands.
"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.
"Maintaining a relationship can be hard at times, but I also believe it has built up our strength and determination as individuals."
Khalil, who will compete in the men's under-58kg class, will also be supported by his brother and coach Ali in London.
"My family completes the puzzle," the Lebanon-born 25-year-old said. "Their support and help throughout the past years have been what keeps me going when I feel like I've hit a wall.
"Ali and I work great together and to share this journey with him is an amazing feeling.
"Also having Carmen on the team is fantastic - she's so clever, smart and experienced and knows what to say when I'm down and out."
Marton is the more likely of the two to return home from the July 27-August 12 Games with a medal and, like most Olympians, she has no doubt which one she wants.
"I am there to win gold," the 25-year-old said. "I do not want to go there and simply participate. My goal is to do everything I possibly can to prepare so I am confident and happy when it comes to my competition day."
(Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)
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