08 Sep 2016

Today 8 September 2016, Ibrahim HAMADTOU (EGY) completes his mesmerising rise from an internet sensation to a Paralympian.

HAMADTOU was the star of the ‘Impossible is Nothing’ YouTube video that has over 2.3 million views and was picked up by every major media agency and TV channel around the world.

The class six player lost his arms in a tragic train accident at ten years old, and the Egyptian now plays table tennis by serving the ball through flicking it up with his foot, and playing with the racket held in his mouth.

“I was trying first to use the bat under the arm, and I also tried using other things that weren’t working so well,” says HAMADTOU, who first began playing table tennis three years after his accident. “Finally, I tried using my mouth.”

A man not only of world-class athleticism but also of superlative perseverance, the surrounding pessimism just further motivated HAMADTOU, who qualified for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games by finishing second at the 2016 African Championships.

Life has not been easy for HAMADTOU, having to deal with skeptics throughout his career: “[Their criticism] gave me the chance to practice more and more. I gave more time for practice and this made me feel confident to feel like this. I feel really happy playing table tennis. Now my dream has come true of playing in the Paralympic Games”

“I want to tell them and tell everybody that nothing is impossible, and everybody should work hard for what you love and what you think is good for yourself. The disability is not in arms or legs, the disability is to not persevere in whatever you would like to do,” concluded HAMADTOU.

In the preliminary round today September 2016 at 12:20pm Rio time (-3 GMT), Ibrahim HAMADTOU plays another internet sensation David WETHERILL, who shot to fame after his phenomenal shot at the London 2012 Paralympic Games which gathered over 10 million views across all videos.

Full draw for the Singles event can be found on http://bit.ly/Rio2016PTTResults

The action can be followed live on the website of the IPC (International Paralympic Committee) and on the TV stations and Radio channels of the Paralympic rights holder in respective country.  All the rights holders of the Paralympic Games can be found on this link: www.paralympic.org/watch-rio-2016.

Quick Links:

Results & schedule: http://bit.ly/Rio2016PTTResults
News & Articles: http://bit.ly/Rio2016Paralympics
Photos for editorial use: http://bit.ly/2cEU1k0
Flash quotes: http://bit.ly/2cmNS8I
Media Guide: http://bit.ly/2cr6Vhk 

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Paralympics Press Releases Ibrahim HAMADTOU