Taekwondo athlete Safwan Khalil competed at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games and will become Australia’s first ever male Taekwondo athlete to compete at three Olympic Games when takes to the ring at the Tokyo 2020 games.
Born in Tripoli, Lebanon Safwan’s family moved to Sydney when he was just a baby. Taking up the sport as a young child along with his brothers, Safwan rose through the junior ranks and in 2002 he represented Australia at the 2002 World Youth Championships. The following he competed at the Asian Championships where he won gold in the youth category.
Advancing on to the senior competition circuit, Safwan has represented Australia at every World Taekwondo Championships since 2005.
In 2011, Safwan became the first Australian to win gold at a benchmark event with a monumental triumph at the 2011 World Universiade. The following year he made his Olympic debut at London 2012 where he earned a spot in the bronze medal match but was defeated by Russian Alexey Denisenko. Returning to the Olympic arena at Rio 2016, Safwan progressed to the quarter finals but was eliminated, finishing in 7th place.