Now Richard Kruse is on top of the world he has one mountain left to climb, with a Tokyo 2020 medal firmly in the sights of fencing's world number one.
The 35-year-old made history on Saturday by becoming the first British fencer to achieve world number one status with victory at the Tokyo World Cup.
The World silver medallist rose to the summit of the men’s foil rankings with victories over reigning Olympic champion Daniele Garozzo in the semi-final, before toppling American Race Imboden in the final.
It marks an incredible rise to the summit for the London-born athlete who bounced back from narrowly missing out on bronze at Rio 2016, to seal Great Britain’s first world championship medal in 58 years with silver in China last year.
Yet testament to the determination of the four-time European individual medallist, Kruse has already turned his focus towards adding an Olympic title to his burgeoning collection.
“I’m fully committed to achieving qualification for Tokyo 2020 and everything that I’m doing right now is focussed on that,” said Kruse
“I am immensely proud to have climbed to the top of the world rankings, but Olympic qualification is more important.
“I would like to thank my coach since I first started fencing, Ziemek Wojciechowski and my sponsors Leon Paul and the International Olympic Committee for the scholarship they’ve given me. Also thanks to British Fencing for continuing to back me on my journey.”
Kruse made his Olympic debut at Athens 2004 and has since competed at Beijing, London and Rio.