Lance Corporal Victor Ahiavor from 1st Battalion the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, has been selected to represent Ghana in Judo at the Commonwealth Games.
Victor will make his Team Ghana debut on the mat on Wednesday, 3 August.
This will be his second Commonwealth Championships having previously fought in the 90kg class at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. He has since moved up a weight category and will be fighting in the 100Kg class.
The 37-year old’s positive mentality is pushing him to build upon his ninth place finish at the Games in 2014.
He said: “It’s going to be a big challenge, but I have been working hard. I’m excited to be a part of the Games. I will be facing some of the top athletes in the world – but it’s all about learning curves and experiences and developing as much as you can in each championship.
“My motto is ‘just be happy’. Winning makes me happy but if I lose, I’ll know what I did wrong and I can still be happy with that.”
Lance Corporal Ahiavor (LCpl) was born in Accra, Ghana and took up judo at the age of eight, competing in his first international fight in 2004, just before joining the Army in 2005.
He continued: “Our squad is motivating each other, and I am excited to represent Ghana again. It’s a double honour really, because not only am I representing Ghana I am also representing the British Army who have been hugely supportive of my training and have helped to get me here.”
“The Games will be seen by young people back home in Ghana and other Commonwealth nations, so it's an opportunity to show them that there are plenty of opportunities in the Army and you are encouraged to do your best.”
In a sport where upsets are common and contests decided by a fraction of a second, LCpl Ahiavor will have to throw, pin or force his rival into submission to score points.
An Ippon (one full point) which automatically ends the bout, can be earned by throwing an opponent onto their back with ‘control and power,’ or for a pin lasting 20 seconds. You can also earn an Ippon by causing the opponent to submit to a chokehold or arm lock.
A Waza-ari which is a half point, two of which can win a match, is awarded for a throw that is successful but is deemed to lack control or power, or for a pin lasting less than 20 seconds.
Major Antony Bryan, Officer Commanding Zulu Company, of which LCpl Ahiavor is a part, said: “The Regiment is incredibly proud of Lance Corporal Ahiavor who is a kind and considerate gentle giant liked by all.
He continued: “It is a huge achievement to represent your country and is testament to his hard work, skill and dedication. He is a driven and determined athlete and we are behind him and all the Army athletes competing.”