Safwan Khalil will return to the Olympic fold in Rio having made his debut at the London 2012 Games. Khalil came through the repechage to make the bronze medal match in the -58kg division where he went down 3-1 in a close encounter with Russia’s Alexey Denisenko.
With the top six ranked athletes in the world at the end of 2015 automatically qualifying for Rio, tenth ranked Khalil just missed out on booking his Olympic ticket early. Instead Khalil went to the Oceania Olympic Qualification Tournament in Papua New Guinea where he convincingly defeated Isaac Myrie of the Solomon Islands 14-0 to claim the -58kg division.
The 29-year-old will line up in Rio alongside his partner and soon-to-be triple Olympian Carmen Marton, Carmen’s sister Caroline and Hayder Shkara. The team will be coached by Safwan’s brother Ali.
He made history in 2011 when he became Australia’s first ever Universiade gold medallist in taekwondo. At the event, which is open to university students from around the world, Khalil won the -58kg division after defeating Iran’s Hadi Mostaan in Shenzen, China.
Khalil was born in Tripoli, Lebanon and, fleeing from war, immigrated to Australia when he was eight-months old with his parents, two brothers and sister.
All copy on this page is copyright © Australian Olympic Committee. Do not reproduce without permission.
Lurnea, NSW, Australia
- 2012 London - 5th (-58kg)
- 2003 Sydney Youth Olympic Festival - 2nd
- 3rd (-63kg) - 2016 German Open (Hamburg, Germany)
- 3rd (-58kg) - 2016 Spanish Open (Alicante, Spain)
- 1st (-58kg) - 2016 Oceania Championships (Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea)
- 2nd (-58kg) - 2015 US Open (Reno, USA)
- 9th (-58kg) - 2015 WTF Grand Prix (Manchester, UK)
- Qualifying to represent Australia at the 2012 London Olympic Games after winning the Oceania Championships.
- Being the first Aussie in history to win the World University Games in 2011.
- Qualifying for my second Olympic Games through the 2016 Oceania Championships.
- Lurnea Public School (NSW, Australia)
- Lurnea High School (NSW, Australia)
- Bachelor Of Health And Physical Education. ACPE
Ali Khalil (2011 - current)
Global Martial Arts, Prestons, Sydney
NSWIS, Sydney Olympic Park.
Primary Training Base
Secondary Training Base
NSWIS, Sydney Olympic Park. Zsolt Zomber
- Favourite food
- Mum's cooking, Wood fired Pizza
- Favourite holiday destination
- Alicante, Spain
- Personal Motto
- Always look for a reason to succeed, not an excuse to fail - 'Better never stops'
- Star Sign
- I would spend my last $10 on
- If I could try another Olympic sport it would be
- Most Inspiring Olympic Performance?
- Cathy Freeman winning the 400m gold t the Sydney 2000 Olympics
- First Olympic Memory?
- My oldest brother taking me to watch the boxing live at the Sydney 2000 Games where I met Kostya Tszyu and Evander Holyfield.
- Most Influential person in your career/life
- My father - my hero
- Why this sport?
- One on one combat. The rush before the fight begins leaves me speechless and I love it.