Home Sports Ibrahim Hamadtou surprises the world by playing with his mouth

Ibrahim Hamadtou surprises the world by playing with his mouth

Your feet hold the ball. They throw it up. It is then that Ibrahim Hamadtou (Damieta, Egypt, July 1, 1973) hits her with the shovel that he holds in his mouth. His technique already fascinated in his debut at the Rio Games. His tenacity continues to impress at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium. The table tennis player made his debut this Wednesday with the Korean Park Hong-Kyu and lost (3-0) in class 6, reserved for athletes with severe deficiencies in their arms and legs. “I’m sad about the loss, but I hope to win the next match”, he explained to the Spanish media.

Beyond the result, his ritual, his movements, are hypnotic. They are traced from the sacrifice and delivery of the one who took three years to find the way. Try and failure. He tried it first by holding the racket under his armpit. Then with the mouth.

As if it were a game, Ibrahim Hamadtou had to bring him back to life, when both his arms were amputated when he was only ten years old after a train accident. That setback left him touched. He stayed three years without leaving home, but found in sports a stimulus to keep going. The challenge came to him while refereeing a table tennis match between two friends. One of them, annoyed by one of the decisions, addressed him, blurting out: ‘Don’t interfere because you will never be able to play.’ He debuted with Egypt in 2004.

His story of overcoming has made him a star in his native Egypt And, thanks to social networks and a British Channel 4 documentary – called ‘Yes, I can’ – his figure has transcended borders. In fact, he was named best Arab athlete of the year (2013). His motto is ‘Never give up’ and his dream is to get a medal in Tokyo. “My case shows that anyone can practice all kinds of sport,” he confessed in the mixed zone.

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