Athletics

Ibrahim Hamato serves using his toes.

Ibrahim Hamato becomes internet sensation at Rio Paralympics

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41-year-old Paralympic table tennis star, and internet sensation, Ibrahim Hamato has taken the hearts and minds of fans all over social media during his 2016 Paralympic campaign in Rio, Brazil.

Hamato has achieved superstar status on video share site Youtube with his videos showing the unique method he employs to allow him to carry out his remarkable table tennis serve.

He grips the ball in between his toes, then launches the ball into the air and whacks it into the opponents half of the table with the paddle clenched between his teeth. 

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Although he was unable to win either of his matches in this years competition, the message Hamato had for fans after his defeat were the words of a true winner.

He told the International Table Tennis Federation: "I hope this shows people that nothing is impossible, as long as you work hard.

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"Everybody should work hard for what they love, and what you think is good for yourself."

Like so many stories of bravery, determination, and personal endeavour among Paralympic athletes, and Olympic athletes in general for that matter, the story of Paralympic table tennis star Hamato is quite simply astonishing.

The Egyptian table tennis star fell victim to a horrendous childhood railway accident, losing both of his arms aged just ten-years-old.

This did nothing to hamper the ambitions of the young Egyptian, however, who made it his mission in life to find ways to adapt in order to carry on playing the sport he loved. Table tennis.

You can see a video of him in action below.

Table tennis is not the only love of Hamato's, however, he is also said to be a keen football enthusiast.

He told CNN: "In our village, we could only play, at that time, table tennis and soccer, that's why I played both. It was logic to play soccer first due to my case, then I played table tennis as a challenge".

During his career, Hamato has managed to win two silver medals in two African Championship events. He won them in 2011 and 2013 respectively.

He also won a silver medal at the 2013 Egyptian Championships.

CORRECTION-TTENNIS-WORLD-MAS

Hamato's exploits have not gone unnoticed among some of the most accomplished table tennis stars in the world.

After seeing one of his matches, world number one table tennis player Ma Long said: "He played very good, I could not believe it".

We look forward to seeing more from this extraordinary individual in future competitions.

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Topics:
Athletics
Commonwealth Games
Usain Bolt
Olympics
Mo Farah

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