Tokyo 2020 – Ibrahim Hamadtou “Unbelievably inspiring!”
Unbelievably inspiring! Egypt’s Ibrahim Hamadtou plays table tennis without arms, serving & returning the ball with the paddle in his teeth. After losing his arms in a train accident at age 10, the 48 year old took up table tennis “as a challenge.”
“I was in the club (In Dalmietta) where I was officiating a match between two of my friends. They disagreed on a point, when I counted the point in favor of one of them the other player told me, do not interfere as you will never be able to play,” Hamadtou said in an interview with the International Table Tennis Federation’s website.
“It was that statement that fired me up to decide to play table tennis and it took me nearly a year of practice to get used to holding the racket with [my] mouth and making the serve”
To serve, Hamadtou tosses the ball up with his right foot, an extraordinary feat of dexterity and then hits it with the paddle held between his teeth. He’s the only person in the world to play table tennis with his mouth.
Now he is in his second Paralympics, an amputee playing against others who have severe impairments in their arms and legs.
A simply extraordinary sportsperson turning lemons into lemonade!
Image source: Paralympics Tokyo 2020