DANIELLE Lawson is targeting a place at next year’s Commonwealth Games in Australia after establishing herself as one of the best fencers in the country.

The former Royal Grammar School Worcester student has climbed to the top of the senior epee rankings in England and only Wales’ Jessica Gundry is denying her first place in Great Britain.

With only four spots up for grabs to represent England at the Games in April Lawson is in prime position and determined to fulfil her ambitions.

“Next month I will begin my last year in the juniors but I will be doing some senior competitions as well,” said the 19-year-old from Hartlebury.

“My main focus will be on the juniors so I can get selected for the European and World Championships.

“But I want to maintain my ranking as number one in England so I can get selected for the senior Commonwealth Games too.

“That is a massive milestone to reach and it would be a huge achievement if I could get there.”

Lawson hopes to build on a stunning 2016-17 season which saw her compete in Germany, Spain, France and Finland as part of the GB women’s under 20s epee squad.

Results at the qualifying events cemented her place at the top of the GB junior under 20 rankings and gained selection for the Junior European Championships where she fought through to the last 16, finishing 12th overall.

Lawson also became junior national champion at the British Cadet and Junior Championships as she finished the season ranked 52nd in the world for under 20s.

But arguably her best result came at the Leon Paul Cole Cup in April where she clinched her first senior international satellite title.

Lawson’s achievements led her to be named sports personality of the year at last month’s Malvern Hills District Community Sports Awards.

“I am really proud and over the moon with how I have done this year,” said Lawson who is 192nd in the senior world rankings.

“My highlight this year will probably be winning a senior international satellite and becoming national champion under 20s which was a really big achievement.”

Last summer Lawson missed out on an A-Level grade to study sports and engineering at university but made the most of an additional year at Worcester Sixth Form College.

She increased her training programme by adding extra coaching sessions with John Rees at Malvern Hills Sword Fencing Club as well as continuing to work under the tutelage of Nick Chapman.

Lawson also had the opportunity to run an afterschool club at RGS Worcester and was delighted to see four of her students qualify for the British Youth Championships.

“Studying for academic qualifications and competing in your sport at a high level is always going to be a challenge,” she said.

“But I am determined to reach my goals in both.

“I was delighted to receive a SportsAid Award through Jaguar Land Rover this year which has allowed me to take my coach John to international competitions.

“Having the support of a coach at these events is invaluable.

“I am thankful to SportsAid for their recognition and support and I am delighted to have received news that SportsAid are continuing their support of me this year through an award from The Thompson Trust.

“I want to become a world-class fencer, compete at the senior world championships and potentially qualify for the Olympics which is my overall dream.”