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BEIJING - South African fencer Sello Maduma reckons the experience he has gained at the Beijing Olympics will make him much stronger for the 2012 Games in London.
"It was crucial for me to participate in these Olympics and I'm now aware of the pressure that goes with being an Olympian," said Maduma yesterday.
The 21-year-old was beaten 15-12 by Seung-gu Kim of South Korea in a close men's individual epee knockout match on Sunday.
Madumo said though he was out of the individual competition, he was satisfied with his performance against the South Korean.
"I managed to hold myself against Kim, who is more experienced than me. Obviously, he came here more prepared than me because they have all the facilities in the world to train effectively in their country," he said.
"We had a training camp in Deagu in South Korea and were impressed with their facilities.
"My performance on Sunday made me to realise how strong I can be in this game. I will now prepare myself for 2012."
Team manager Randall Daniels praised the youngster for his plucky debut in the Games.
Maduma is the only black fencer in the three-member men's squad that also comprises veteran Dario Torrente and Mike Wood.
The two are also out of their respective individual events.