A CHAMPION fencer, who is determined to be the best, has his eye fixed on the 2016 Olympic games.

Sam Ridley, from Wolsingham, in County Durham, is the UK's reigning under-13 fencing champion and is tipped as a future Great Britain gold medallist.

The sport has taken the budding athlete across the world. He has competed in Budapest, Slovakia and Poland.

Sam was ranked 22nd in the world at the Paris CEP Marathon Under-15 Challenge in February but, at 14, is too young to compete at senior and Olympic level.

Sam said he was determined to make it to the top.

"Before I got good it was about taking part, now it's about winning.

"I am going to be number one," he said.

Sam's ambition is to become top of the senior league and to win a place in the Great Britain fencing team.

His coach, Iain Aberdeen, also has high hopes.

"He is a very talented individual, who has the determination and potential to achieve at the highest levels in fencing," he said.

"Sam's ability to practice the same action over and over until it is right is a credit to him, and I feel he understands the commitment and lifestyle he needs to adopt to become a world class fencer."

He consoled himself with missing out on the London 2012 Olympics with the thought that he will get to go "somewhere exotic" instead.