26 Aug 2021

Eyes focused on table two; the eyes of the camera lens, more than 20 photographers directed their attention to capture the remarkable talents of Egypt’s Ibrahim Hamadtou, the player who holds the racket in his mouth and serves the ball by using his toes.

At the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, on Wednesday 25th August, competing in men’s singles class 6, he was beaten in straight games by Korea Republic’s Park Hongkyu (11-6, 11-4, 11-9).

by Ian Marshall

A major problem for Ibrahim Hamadtou is when his opponent creates an angle with a carefully guided return; nevertheless, against all odds he responds.

“After today’s game, the loss tastes bitter. I don’t even have anything to say. I played and performed well, and I thank God for that. I started preparing immediately after Rio for Tokyo 2020. It was a tough period, I worked hard in as much so I can and hopefully will have better results.” Ibrahim Hamadtou

An opening defeat but the door is not closed, players finishing in first and second positions in each group advance to te main draw.

“My goal is to make an effort the next match and try to finish second in the group. Ultimately, my goal is to go back home to my country with a medal. Every player here has the goal of a medal.” Ibrahim Hamadtou

Most certainly Ibrahim Hamadtou aims to improve and refine his skills.

“Yes of course I do watch the videos to see the weak points so that I can overcome them; at the same time I get really happy when I see a video of me, that makes others happy as well.” Ibrahim Hamadtou

Also, Ibrahim Hamadtou competes in men’s team class 6-7; in Rio de Janeiro he was present in men’s team class 6-10.

“For the teams we had a class 10 player with us in Rio, the team had players in six, seven and 10. Right now it’s only me and Sayed Mohamed Youssef in classes 6 and 7, so we will play classes 6-7 in the team event.”

Most certainly the cameras will continue to focus on his efforts in Tokyo as they did at the 2014 World Team Championships when he played the likes of Jun Mizutani and Vladimir Samsonov; both now retired they were player who displayed a high skill.

It the same with Ibrahim Hamadtou; that service action takes some skill!

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