In one word, Stacey Hymer summed up the reason she was selected for the Australian four-man taekwondo team: “results”.
Hymer’s selection over Olympian trio Carmen Marton – Australia’s first taekwondo world champion after winning lightweight gold at world titles – rocked the boat.
Marton appealed the decision and subsequently won the case in the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
CAS moved the problem back to the selector, but they stuck with Hymer.
Making the selection controversy all the more awkward as Marton’s brother is one of two males on the team, with the other being her longtime partner Safwan Khalil.
All the way through Hymer made her bow.
“I think there were three of us running and they went through every single athlete and they came to that conclusion,” Hymer told News Corp the night before the Olympic debut.
“I am very proud of myself and what I have been through.
“It hasn’t been an easy journey but we really did a good job in tackling everything and I commend myself because in the end the results showed that I am a good fighter and I am ready for it. this.”
Marton and Hymer haven’t spoken yet, but she admits you “can’t do it on your own”.
On Sunday, the 22-year-old university student from Victoria, with roots in Green and Albania, showed the world what she was capable of.
“I got the results. I have won medals at major events,” she said.
“I’ve played well against good opponents with higher rankings, so I always fight well against big opponents, which is important and I was able to prove myself as a good fighter.”
Hymer’s frizzy hair may be more mythical than her Tokyo trip, but she’s as calm as the Japanese national anthem.
On Friday, she spoke to Australian Olympic champion Susie O’Neill, who carried the weight of the nation on her shoulders during the Sydney Olympics
The words of Australian Deputy Chef de Mission are sure to comfort her.
But this is a sport she has been playing since she was four years old.
Looking pretty on the outside, Hymer kicked with a fierce look.
In a dangerous sport where she breaks a training partner’s nose and “knocks people down,” Hymer doesn’t come to Tokyo just to experience it.
“I’m there to score and win, but then I’ll go to them and check if they’re okay,” she said.
“I don’t want to knock someone down, but the power of your kick will be.”
Hymer faces Canada’s Skyler Park in the opening match of the round of 16, with a tough appointment with South Korean star Ahreum Lee awaiting if she advances to the quarterfinals.
“I think if I stick to my good game plan, I’ll stand a chance,” she said.
“I researched a lot of the fighters that were involved, so figuring out the tactics to deal with every fighter. It’s about pulling out moves and weapons and useful stuff. “
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