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Armless Table Tennis Athlete Stuns Fans At Paralympic Games

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Armless Table Tennis Athlete Stuns Fans At Paralympic Games

By Stewart Perrie

Egypt's Ibrahim Hamadtou has stunned viewers watching the Tokyo Paralympic Games.

The athlete had his first match in the men's Class 6 table tennis tournament this week and people were amazed at seeing him play without arms.

Ibrahim lost both arms in a train accident when he was 10 years old, but he's managed to work out a way to play at an elite level.

He holds the table tennis paddle in his mouth and serves the ball with his foot.

Following his debut on the whole stage, people all over the globe were amazed at his skill.

Sadly for Ibrahim, he lost his first round match 3-0 against South Korea's Park Hong-kyu. However, he remains undeterred and is excited about continuing in the competition.

"I'm sad about the loss, but I hope to win the next match," he said following the game.

This is his second Paralympics and competed at the 2016 Rio Games at the age of 43.

Before that, he rocketed to fame after winning three silver medals at the African Championships and Egypt Open.

He said he was drawn to the sport because of the challenge it posed for him with no arms.

"I was in the club where I was officiating a match between two of my friends," the athlete said in an International Table Tennis Federation interview last year.

"They disagreed on a point, when I counted the point in favour of one of them the other player told me, do not interfere as you will never be able to play. It was that statement that fired me up to decide to play table tennis."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

He used that fire to take up table tennis and prove he could be the best.

"It took me nearly a year of practice to get used to holding the racket with mouth and making the serve. With practice and playing regularly this skill was improved," he said.

"Getting to Rio 2016 was one of the dreams that I was trying to reach, and when the opportunity came to me, I was so happy to be part of the big show in Brazil.

"Unfortunately, I did not prepare enough to go through this dream. Now I have learnt from the Rio 2016 experience, and I am working hard for another stage, which is Tokyo.

"My goal in Tokyo 2021 is to be in good form; play better than in Rio to achieve a medal in this tournament. My message to the Egyptian and African players is: nothing is impossible."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: tokyo paralympics, Paralympics, Australia

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