Brothers back to grab glory

SAFWAN Khalil is back in training preparing for the Oceania taekwondo titles in three months and has eyes fixed on a world championship berth in Mexico next year.

The Lurnea Olympian just missed out on bronze in the men's 58 kilograms weight division in London. He returned to training and instructing students on Monday at the Global Martial Arts Fitness Centre, Liverpool.

His older brother Ali, 29, who is his personal coach, was also the Australian men's and women's team coach in London.

It was the first Olympics for the brothers.

"I had three weeks off after the Olympics and now I am back into it," Safwan Khalil, 26, said.

Khalil said he had golden memories from London despite not winning a medal. He lost the bronze medal bout 3-1 Alexey Denisenko from the Russian Federation.

"I learned a lot about myself and how to prepare better mentally," Khalil said.

"I have now learnt how to stay composed under pressure better after competing at the Olympics.

"There isn't much between the competitors at big events. It's about being mentally prepared in front of the big crowds."

Khalil is not only busy preparing for the Oceania titles this December in Melbourne but also his wedding to fiancee, Carmen Marton, a fellow Australian taekwondo Olympian.

"I got great support and strength from Carmen and Ali," Khalil said.

He said he was humbled by the amazing support back in Australia and the messages he received.

"The build-up to it all and the Olympics did go very quickly," Khalil said. Though the next Olympics in Rio de Janiero is a long way off, for him, it remains a long-term ambition. But he is taking things one step at a time.

Ali Khalil said he believed coaching at Olympic level will further improve his own skills.

"It's was an amazing experience, absolutely electric," he said. " I learned so much," Ali Khalil said.


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