What a wonderful surprise in the World Team Table Tennis Championships (WTTC) yesterday!
Just moments before the women’s finals commenced, there was a spontaneous battle between two extraordinary talents that made the crowd in the Shah Alam Stadium cheer loudly. 41 year-old Paralympic player Ibrahim Hamato defied all odds when he stunned the crowd with his sheer brilliance in a short battle with 15 year-old Japanese Miu Hirano.
Holding the paddle with his mouth, Ibrahim’s amazing skills left many in awe and he managed to prove that even without arms, he was able to deliver a spectacular performance. The Egyptian was said to be an inspiration to millions across the globe with is ability.
Paralympic athletes have been garnering attention in the nation and there is an aim for Malaysia to achieve its very best in order to become a medium of inspiration for talented Paralympic people.
In this case, Ibrahim certainly showed Malaysia that physical appearance does not determine one’s success and it definitely made the local viewers think twice on how Paralympic athletes should be given a massive push to go forward and bring the nation’s glory to greater heights.
Young Ibrahim met with an accident in 1983 that made him lose both of his arms and like any other children, he was devastated and thought that he would never be able to do sports again but just when he reached 13, he soon discovered his passion for table tennis.
“I was 10 when I had an accident and I lost my two arms. I love sports and I really want to take part in it but I could not. Initially I love playing football but I knew I cannot play because of my challenge. In my city, table tennis was popular so I started playing at 13 and from that I have been playing table tennis,” he said as quoted from the website of International Table Tennis Federation, ITTF.
Initially, table tennis was just a hobby but things took a turn when he won a silver medal in the 2011 African Paralympics Championship in his home nation.
“I was doing well in table tennis and I see it as another life. But I understand the importance of the sport when I won silver with the Egyptian team in 2011 and this was what inspired me the more to fall in love with the sport.”
“I must say that table tennis is my life. It is like the air I breathe and the water I drink. It has added value to my life and a lot of people have also been inspired by my story. This for me is awesome and I hope I can inspire more people across the globe,” he added.
Nothing can ever be an excuse for someone to stop chasing after their dream and Ibrahim Hamadtou is a very good example.