Charne Griesel proved she is on track to perform well during next month's Junior World Judo Championships when she won a gold medal over the weekend in Tunisia.
Competing at the African Junior Cup Tournament, the Tuks judoka won both her fights in the under-52kg category with an ippon. It is the ultimate way to claim victory during a match.
Griesel needed only 92 seconds to beat Khadija Saadi (Morocco). Her fight in the final against Tunisia's Chaima Sidaoui lasted 115 seconds.
Nikola Filipov, head coach at Tuks, rates the 19-year-old Griesel as future Olympian.
"Charné can cause an upset during any tournament. Discipline and dedication are her most outstanding qualities. She is always looking for ways to improve."
Filipov, who himself is a former Olympian, has a definite opinion as to what it takes to succeed in judo.
"It is all about having a real fighting spirit. It will never be in judo just about how perfect you can execute a technique, or how strong and fit you are. To become a champion, you have to be able to push yourself to the edge of your limits day in and day out. Charne is prepared to do so.
According to Filipov, one of the biggest problems South African judokas face is the lack of enough quality training partners.
"I can advise judokas on how to train in the gym, help them to execute the various judo techniques to perfection and give them tips as what to do and not to do during a fight but that is unfortunately not enough. The only way any judoka can truly become competitive is by training with quality partners. That is why our judokas need to train and compete internationally as often as possible."