BEIJING - Kenyan Dickson Wamwiri was attracted to tae kwon do by the prospect of learning to fight like a Chinese warrior.
The 23-year-old is one of 18 African athletes in the taekwondo tournament at the Beijing Olympics and among the 500000 Kenyans who took part in the in the sport.
"I used to watch Chinese movies when I was young and I would sit there wishing I could do some of those moves," Wamwiri told reporters.
"I have been playing for nine years now and I plan to go all the way."
Wamwiri is not worried about fighting more experienced opponents in the 57kg category in Beijing.
"It is not like this is my first international competition. I hold the African title for the flyweight," he said.
"This is the first time Kenya has sent people to the Olympics for tae kwon do. All the other African countries now have a lot more tae kwon do guys here."
Mali's Modibo Keita is the world heavyweight champion who is among the favourites in Beijing.
Born in Ivory Coast, the 27-year-old became the first African to win the world title last year despite tearing a muscle shortly before the competition.
"Like everybody, I want to get the gold medal and will do anything to get it," the towering Keita said. - Reuters