LAUREN Williams has a first World Taekwondo Championships medal in sight this weekend as she looks to put her name up there with the sport’s very best.

Despite winning a host of events, including last year’s Grand Slam, the 20-year-old from Blackwood knows she is still missing the really big prizes.

Williams begins her quest for world glory in Manchester today with the -67kg final, which she hopes to be in, scheduled for tomorrow.

The two-time world junior champion and double senior European champion’s long-term aim is the 2020 Olympic Games in Japan, where fellow Welsh fighter Jade Jones could land a third gold.

Former kickboxer Williams took up taekwondo after watching Jones become an Olympic champion for the first time in 2012.

And Williams believes it’s not until she does something like Jones did that a place among the elite can be hers.

“Because I saw Jade win the Olympics at 19, I don’t think I’ve achieved anything at the minute,” she said.

“I’m 20 and I’ve not even got a world championship medal.

“If you win a world championship or an Olympics you’re known as an athlete then, that’s the pinnacle for this sport.

“To be there amongst those world champions and Olympic champions would just mean the world to me.”

That Grand Slam triumph in China last December earned Williams a cool £54,000 in prize money, a sum she wanted to use to pay off her parents’ mortgage – they turned down their daughter’s offer.

The sacrifices her parents made have been well documented, in particular the two years Williams and her mum spent living in a caravan to be closer to GB Taekwondo’s Manchester base.

“We sat in the living room and that light bulb moment happened,” recalled Williams when speaking to the BBC.

“We all just laughed and were like, ‘we can’t live in a caravan’, but a couple of months later we towed it up and pitched it on the caravan site.

“I was too young at the time to realise what sacrifices they’d actually made but then I turned 16 and 17 and had my own responsibilities, and it was only then that I realised how much they’d given up.

“Now more than ever I realise how difficult it was for them.”