South Africa's martial arts star, Duncan "Silent Killer" Mahlangu, has started in earnest with his preparations for the 2012 London Olympics.
"I've decided to start early and will spend most of my time attending training camps in South Korea to learn from the best in the world," said Mahlangu yesterday.
Mahlangu (25) is trained by South Korean instructor, Master Cho, who has been with him for the past six years.
After failing to qualify for the Beijing Olympics due to injuries, Mahlangu bounced back by winning a major taekwondo title in South Korea two weeks ago.
Mahlangu made headlines in Seoul after winning a gold medal in a final of the Korean International Open Tournament.
He defeated Naranchimeg Erdenebaatar from Mangolia.
A resident of Mmakau village in North West, Mahlangu played soccer as a youngster before defecting to martial arts.
Godfrey Mokoboto, president of Taekwondo South Africa, yesterday praised Mahlangu for his rare feat in Seoul.
"We are proud of Duncan, we are working with the federation in South Korea to assist him with his preparations for the 2012 London Olympics."
Mahlangu represented South Africa at the 2004 Athens Olympics as a novice and was eliminated in the first round.
"I was treated like a king in Seoul after winning a gold medal with almost every newspaper carrying my article," said Mahlangu.
"I was also encouraged by the support I received from the Koreans during the five weeks that I spent in that country training hard with some of their best fighters. The tournament that I won in Korea was the first step towards my preparations for the 2012 London Olympics."