UNLUCKY EXIT: Taekwondo competitor Safwan Khalil, of Australia.
UNLUCKY EXIT: Taekwondo competitor Safwan Khalil, of Australia. DEAN LEWINS

RIO 2016: Famine to feast after Khalil goes down fighting

TAEKWONDO: Wood-fired pizzas, Maltesers and cheesecake - let the feasting begin for taekwondo veteran Safwan Khalil.

Khalil's 15-year ambition of an Olympic medal ended but he's now savouring thoughts of big breakfasts, long lunches and chocolate-infused five-course dinners.

"I tell you what, I'm going to eat for about a week straight," the 30-year-old said after being eliminated from the 58kg division.

"I've been dieting for the last two years for this weight division."

The lanky Khalil planned to retire after the 2012 London Games but a fifth place there, and the same for fiancee Carmen Marton, meant the couple decided to fight on for another four years.

But he's drawn the curtain on his career after being left to rue a missed opportunity in a thrilling quarter-final against Thai surprise-packet Tawin Hanprab.

Khalil led Hanprab 9-7 late in the final round but got caught in no-man's land with a spin kick that caught him on the head, eventually losing 11-9.

Hanprab went on to take silver.

Khalil, who is coached by his brother Ali, immediately declared his retirement after the bout - and expects to pack on 12-14kg pretty quickly.

"I just want to eat and sleep," he said.

"Wood-fired pizza is the No.1 go-to so start with that, then a nice mushroom pasta, then a nice dessert like a cheesecake."

Khalil said he'd also be stacking the shelves with Maltesers and munchies for afters.

"I just don't want to look like a shaved bird any more," he said.

In a family affair, Marton, competing in her third Olympics, will fight in the women's 67kg division tonight, while her sister Caroline began her campaign in the 56kg weight class last night.

AAP

Women's taekwondo 67kg division, tonight (10pm AEST)


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