Egypt’s Ibrahim Hamadtou can swing a table tennis racket as well as the next Paralympian, but that’s not what makes him a sensation: Hamadtou holds the racket between his teeth.
While the Rio Paralympics are full of stories of men and women who have trained their impaired bodies to compete at the highest level, Hamadtou, who lost both arms above the elbow in a childhood train accident, stands apart as the only table tennis player even to try the feat.
Although he lost in his Paralympic debut, falling to the highly rated British world number four, David Wetherill, and then to Germany’s Thomas Rau, the wiry 43-year-old said he was elated.
He was invited as a guest to the ZEN-NOH 2014 World Team Table Tennis Championships in Tokyo, Japan.
Ibrahim Hamadtao in action at Perfect 2016 World TeamTable Tennis Championships Shah Alam Malaysia
His match against Thomas RAU of Germany during Rio Paralympics