Paralympic handcycling gold medallist Ernst van Dyk has quit his full-time job to focus on the build-up to the London Games in August.
“I'm leaving my day job. I've managed to save up enough money to train full-time for the next six months as we head towards London,” Van Dyk said on Monday.
“It helps as I will be more focussed and will be working towards big improvements in my times as I work toward the bigger picture.”
Van Dyk expected stiff challenges from the likes of Stuart McCreadie and rising star Andries Scheepers at the National Championships for the Physically Disabled in Durban, starting this weekend.
Scheepers beat Van Dyk at the Argus Cycle Tour earlier this month, and he hoped to hit back in the coastal city.
“At the moment I'm in base training and working towards peaking in London, so while I am at a different point in my training, I'm obviously motivated to give a good show in Durban,” Van Dyk said.
The nine-time Boston marathon champion, who turns 39 in April, was pleased to see younger South African athletes, like Scheepers, breaking through.
“We're very much a cycling nation and that helps improve the competitiveness,” he said.
“It's great having another guy who can be a future teammate. That is something that is a big problem in overseas races.
“The Americans and Dutch, for instance, have three or four guys in races with me and they can share tactics. I have to counter every single move they make.
“To think of having a teammate in future is really exciting.” – Sapa