Incredible Paralympic Table Tennis Players…

Incredible Paralympic Table Tennis Players…

THIS WEEK is the final preparation before Para-Table-Tennis players (particularly UK teams) compete in the Paris 2024 Games this summer.

World and European champion Will Bayley is included in a squad of 13 athletes for this week’s ITTF Czech Para Open in Ostrava which runs from June 20th to 22nd.

The Paralympic Team GB players for Paris will be announced next month.

“The plan for the Czech Open is very much around preparation for the Paralympics for those players going to Paris and those looking towards going to LA,” said BPTT Programme Manager Shaun Marples from Tabe Tennis England.

“What we want to get out of the competition is valuable match experience now this is the last opportunity before the Paralympic Games, both in the singles and also with the doubles to see that the combinations that we have for Paris are working well and will be fully prepared for the Games.

There are some incredible stories from the World of Paralympic Sports, and also those sports that are not currently in the Olympic framework, including snooker and the World Disability Snooker.

From the International Olympic Committee website…

In Table Tennis though, one such story is that of Egypt’s Ibrahim Hamadtou who started Para table tennis to prove to his friend that nothing is impossible. A double-arm amputee, he plays with the table tennis racquet in his mouth and serves the ball using his right foot.

Hamadtou is aiming to go to his third Paralympics and take the spotlight again with his incredible skills.

He lost his arms in a train accident when he was ten years old.

After he watched a table tennis match between his friends, one of them ridiculed Hamadtou, saying that he would not be able to play.

“That’s why I challenged myself and tried to play a number of times until I succeeded,” the athlete recalled.

But it wasn’t easy. However, 30 years on…

Hamadtou competed in his first Olympics in Rio 2016.

Even though he had to have scans on his teeth and he tried wearing a mouth guard, the incredible feat he has managed to endure to practice his skills, took a toll on his body but he got through it, showing that nothing is impossible.

“Participating in the Paralympic Games has affected me a lot and I am trying to improve my technique,” he said. “My technique is always an obstacle to my opponents because they don’t expect my next shot.

“Playing Para table tennis has made me a very committed person.”

The Egyptian wants to get into politics and wants to represent people with disabilities in Egypt and discuss their needs and rights. And, as Hamadtou seeks to create change, he sees his experience in Para sports becoming a motivation for many people.

He hopes to continue that by proving that there is nothing he cannot do.

“I think I am a role model as people see how I challenge myself and how I have succeeded so they know that there is nothing called impossible,” he said.

With now less than 500 days until the Games, good luck to everyone in the Paralympics competing in Paris!

Chris Gaynor

Chris Gaynor is a writer with 10 years' experience writing for the web. He loves snooker, CSI and loves cycling off tiramisu!