Did you have a hard time getting out of bed this morning? Were you a physical mess after the golf league night finale? Are the shoulders sore? Stop your whining. Today in Tokyo, 48-year-old Egyptian Paralympic table tennis player Ibrahim Hamadto, who lost his arms in a train accident when he was 10, got out of bed, put on his table tennis uniform and went to battle with South Korea’s Park Hong-kyu.
Competing in the Class 6 group — athletes who can stand but have arm and leg impairments — Hamadto showed those of you struggling after league night that deep down you don’t have much to complain about.
Watch the effort it takes for Hamadto — who lost to Hong-kyu in straight sets, 11-6, 11-4, 11-9 — to compete in the Paralympics. That’s right, he has to get the ball in the air with his foot and then control the paddle with his mouth. It’s not like Hong-Kyu wasn’t competing with his own issues. According to The Sun, the South Korean suffers from cervical spine damage from a 2005 industrial accident that hampers his upper and lower body movement.
Sport has absolutely no limits.
The man who plays the sport with his mouth, Ibrahim Hamadtou returns to the big stage at #Paralympics
— Enakshi Rajvanshi (@enakshi_r) August 25, 2021
“Not all defeats are defeats. Sometimes you lose but you actually win because you have added to your experience, you have added to your knowledge. Today I added to my knowledge,” Hamadtou said after losing a 2016 Rio Paralympics match.
During a 2014 interview, Hamadtou said that his village had two sports for him to play as a child. Soccer and table tennis. Soccer came naturally, but table tennis provided him with a challenge.
“It was quite difficult playing table tennis after the accident,” Hamadto recalled. “I had to practice hard for three consecutive years on a daily basis. At the beginning, people were amazed and surprised seeing me playing. They encouraged and supported me a lot and they were very proud of my willing, perseverance and determination.”
And if you think Hamadtou is just out there to compete and just be around the sport, think again. He wasn’t the least bit happy with today’s performance in his opening loss to Hong-Kyu.
“After today’s game, the loss tastes bitter,” he told World Table Tennis. “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.”
— Onze Masr (@onzemasr) August 25, 2021