After a long and gruelling journey Trooper Emmanuel Nartey (29) from 1 RTR has been selected to represent Ghana in judo at the London Olympics.
This will be Tpr Nartey's first Olympic Games and his is also the first ever Ghanaian to represent his country at judo. He trains at Bath University alongside the British Judo team and qualified for his place after finishing fifth in the African Championships.
Nartey joined the Army in 2003 where his chain of command recognised him as a talented sportsman and granted him the time to train and compete at the international level. He competes regularly on the International Judo Federation World Circuit and is currently number 32nd in the world.
Toughest professional sports
In a sport where upsets are frequent and contests decided by a fraction of a second he is in with a realistic chance of a medal. Tpr Nartey believes that he is going into the games at the peak of his form. He said: "It's going to be a big challenge, it is the top athletes in the world, but amongst the top 32 I can pretty much beat anyone.
"So far this year all the top athletes who have come against me have lost, so I am at my peak, which will give me the confidence going into the games."
He took up judo at the age of nine in Accra, following in the footsteps of his two brothers. It quickly became apparent that he was able to excel at judo and having moved to the UK in 2002 he got the chance to take part in the Manchester Commonwealth Games. From there he went on to win medals across four continents, including a World Cup Gold Medal at Apia, in Samoa in 2009.
Judo is recognised as one of the toughest professional sports but Tpr Nartey is used to the hard life and intensive training, and he believes it is a good example to those at the regiment.
He said: "My friends at the Regiment couldn't believe that I am an Olympian having seen me as a young trooper. I think it gives them hope that if you dedicate yourself to something you eventually achieve your dream. I'm proud and grateful for their support because it has been a team effort and I'm happy to be able to fight for them."
Tpr Nartey's mother and sister will be able to make it to the games to offer their support, and as the youngest member of the Ghanaian squad he is hoping to be able to carry the national flag during the opening ceremony.