Caroline Marton goes down in tight contest

Published 18 August 2016 (AEDT)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 18: Caroline Marton (red) of Australia competes against Nikita Glasnovic of Sweden during the Womens 57kg Taekwondo contest at Cairoca Arena 3 on August 18, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. © 2016 Getty Images

TAEKWONDO: Olympic debutant Caroline Marton has gone down in an extremely tight encounter to Swedish fighter Nikita Glasnovic at Carioca Arena 3.

The Australian 12th seed lost out to the fifth seeded Scandinavian 4-0 and will have to wait to see if Glasnovic makes the -57kg final to determine whether she will contest the repechage for bronze.

The match could have been much different though with Marton having looked to have taken a commanding three point lead midway through the fight but her kick was challenged and her points were removed.

“It was very tough,” Marton said of the fight.

“I was disappointed with the head shot because I thought it was a legal shot and I’m not sure why they took it off. That put me into a difficult position of chasing for the points.

“The skills we’ve been working on did work but they weren’t registering in my favour. There probably wasn’t enough power but I felt like I did a good job and found the openings but maybe my timing was off.

“Overall I gave it my all and hopefully she makes it through to the final and I get a shot at bronze.”

After the first round ended scoreless, and Marton had her three points reversed, the Swede got on the board with a body kick towards the end of the second to give her a one point advantage heading into the final round.

Marton had been waiting years for this moment though and wasn’t going to die wondering.

She went on the attack before Glasnovic connected with a body kick. She added two more points late on with another body kick and then a penalty point to round out the fight.

It’s been a long journey for Marton who came agonisingly close to qualifying for London 2012 before getting her chance to make her Olympic debut at 32 alongside younger sister and soon-to-be three-time Olympian Carmen.

She has had plenty of support along the way.

“I was thinking about every back home and that gave me more courage and strength and I’m just thankful who tuned in gave their support, thank you.”

Many of her supporters would not have had to have turn the television on though as they were singing loudly and proudly in the stands.

“I’m very, very blessed to have my friends and family here and it made a big difference.”

Glasnovic will now fight at 3pm (4am AEST) in the quarter-finals and if successful will move through to the semi-finals at 5pm. If the Swede qualifies for the gold medal match then Marton will get her shot at bronze.

Marton would then fight at 8pm and if victorious would get a shot at bronze at 9pm.

Australia’s final two taekwondo athletes will compete tomorrow (Friday August 19) with Carmen Marton and Hayder Shkara bot hitting the mat. Yesterday Safwan Khalil finished seventh in the men’s -58kg divison.

Matt Bartolo

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