THE hunger to be the best drives two-time Australian champion Yolanda Schmidt in her quest to become a world Muay Thai champion.
Schmidt was named the 2015 Pro Female Fighter of the year at the Australian Muay Thai Awards last week.
The Barden Ridge school teacher said the desire to be No.1 had further been ignited after her experience at the 2015 IFMA Royal World Cup in Thailand.
There she competed in the bantamweight division (55 to 57 kilograms) and won a bronze medal for Australia.
"I want to win a gold medal at the next world cup," Schmidt said.
"I want to be the best I can be. I finished with a bronze medal last year and I am going for gold this year."
The 2016 Royal World Cup is in Jonkoping, Sweden, in May.
Schmidt was also named 2015 Newcomer Pro Fighter of the Year in the worldwide Awakening Female Muay Thai Awards.
"My hard work being recognised is an unexplainable feeling; with nine fights in 2015, I am so grateful to receive this award," Schmidt said.
Schmidt, 26, born in Johannesburg, came to Australia almost six years ago.
Her professional record is 18 fights for 15 wins, one draw and two losses.
Scmidt's trainer is Andrew Parnham at PTJ Muay Thai Gymnasium.
She is already locked in for another fight against Sam Brown on Destiny Fight promotion night in Brisbane on April 9 and will fight for the World Boxing Council Australian Title in the 55-kilogram division.
As a youngster in South Africa she competed in athletics and represented her country at the Irish Dance World Championships.
Schmidt is a permanent resident of Australia and will soon take the next step to call Australia home.
She said she had great pride in her South African heritage and ancestry but had fallen in love with Australia.
Schmidt does community work promoting health and fitness among young people.