Carmen Marton is a former taekwondo world champion from Australia. She won the gold medal at the Puebla 2013 World Championships. She also won a Bronze medal at the Madrid 2005 World Championships.
She’s participated in international competitions since the year 2000 being one of the few athletes from that generation that is still active and continue training and fighting. In fact, she has competed in three olympic games.
Carmen’s long career is still going. I think mainly for two reasons. The first one is that she loves to help others, and her career is an inspiring example for many people.
The second one is that she loves taekwondo.
Fighting in different weight classes
Carmen has fought in many different weight classes. From -55kg to -67kg. She loves fighting. If it is necessary to change weight class in order to fight in some competition. She’ll do it.
Fighting in some other weight classes has helped Carmen to learn more about taekwondo. The game always changes, says Carmen. And you have to be prepared for anything.
So, for example, if she is going to fight in a very upper weight class. She will focus on her speed and on moving a lot. This willingness to learn is very remarkable If we have to fight in another weight class for any reason, to use this as an opportunity to grow in our taekwondo.
Carmen has been really near to the Olympic medal. In London 2012 she beat Iran and Sweden, lost with Turkey and in the repechage fought against Germany in a match that was very even until the third round.
There was a moment at the end of the second round where Carmen scored three points. But she stopped attacking to let the opponent ask for the review.
Carmen shares with us that after it she learned that if a referee doesn’t stop the fight, the match is still going. You will never know if the other athlete will let you do the same later in the match.
That was a lesson that helped her one year later when she was pursuing the gold medal at the Word Championships. If the referee has not stopped the fight. You as an athlete have to continue doing your job
First Australian World Champion
For the World Championships at Puebla she and her team, her sister and father made all in their hands to have the best possible preparation. Sport science marks that if you are travelling to another timezone and altitude, you need a certain number of days to adapt.
Before the World Championships they travelled to La Loma, a high performance center in San Luis Potosi, Mexico to end their preparation. She fought the last day of the tournament and the final was the last women’s match.
Carmen shared with us that her most difficult fight was the first one against India. A World Championship is a long competition, with 6 or 7 fights. And during the road to the final a lot of things can happen, there can be fights where doubts can appear.
But Carmen had the capacity to be accurate and to win that first match that gave her confidence to continue advancing in the tournament.
As some other athletes have pointed out Carmen shares with us that she’d like to see Video Replay for headshots.
Now, with the PSS, an athlete can do a powerful kick straight into the opponent’s face and that kick may not score, because the system only counts kicks in the helmet.
Many voices claim that this is against the spirit of taekwondo and we hope we will have in the future a solution for that matter.
Pink Belt Program and youth athletes financial advice.
Carmen is ambassador of Pink Belt. A program that offers one year scholarships to learn taekwondo to women that have suffered domestic violence.
The purpose of the program is not only that women learn self defense, Carmen points out that also it is very important that women experience the social benefits of taekwondo, that can help to build confidence and self esteem.
As Carmen says, Taekwondo isn’t just about the sport. It is about building community, about having friends outside your normal circle, it is about learning and going out of your comfort zone along with others.
Carmen is very concerned about education and giving others opportunities. She is learning about financial education, a subject that we don’t learn at schools but can have a real impact in our life.
She recommends young athletes to care about their future. It is important to educate ourselves in how the decisions that we make on lifestyle can work in our favor or against us in the future.
More in the interview.
This was a very rich interview as Carmen’s long career Some topics she chatted with us about were:
- Fighting in different weight classes
- Politics in sports
- Learning stunts and UFC
- Flat white coffee
- Melbourne Taekwondo Center