AN eight-year-old boy is targeting Olympic glory after becoming the youngest child in the country to get a prestigious taekwondo grading.

Sam Taylor, who started taekwondo aged just four, gained his Second Dan earlier this month, making him the youngest child in the country to get this title in WTF taekwondo or registered with British Taekwondo.

This continues his amazing start in the sport for the Lees Primary School pupil.

When asked at his first-ever session, the youngster, who trains four times a week at Horizon Taekwondo Academy Keighley, said he wanted a black belt.

Over the last four years he has graded through the belt system and sat his First Dan black belt in November last year.

Sam has competed locally, in Bradford, Barnsley and Doncaster. He has also shown off his fighting skills by competing at three British championships, these included winning gold in 2017 and silver this year.

He has also fought in Germany, Belgium and Holland.

His mother Lucy said: "He was four when he started and had a natural ability. It has never phased him, having people screaming and shouting at him while he competed. He has never really been bothered by it, he just keeps going.

"He has to watch what he eats. Before his fights, he has to give up eating sweets and cakes and stuff like that. But he is not bothered by that at all either.

"Taking part in the sport is a big commitment from us and him.

"He wants to carry on and fight for Great Britain and win an Olympic medal. He can't compete for Great Britain until he is 12. He has met a few of the fighters like Jade Jones who have been to the Olympics.

"That is his goal, but he is only eight. It is a balancing act and he understands that. We never want to disillusion him. We just say to him 'do your best'.

"Sam loves it. I am very proud of him. He could not do it if he didn't like it.

"A lot of his achievements are due to his coach, Natalie Simpson-Kidd, who took him on when most clubs wouldn’t until they were at least six. This has changed over the years thanks to Horizon Taekwondo.

"We are going with him to compete at an event in Germany at the end of January."

Despite travelling across Europe with her son, Lucy admitted she can't bring herself to watch him fight live.

She added: "I don't watch him fight. I have been all over the country and Europe and I travel with him. I can't watch him because he is my baby. I will watch him on video, but I would struggle to ever watch him in person.

"He looks like the Michelin Man when he fights, he is so padded up. Thankfully Sam has never had an injury.

"As he can't fight for Great Britain until he is 12, we just have to keep going with it, keep training. We will just carry on. His club are really good."