Ibrahim Hamadtou: from internet sensation to Paralympian

Egyptian Hamadtou set for his Paralympic debut after starring in the Nothing is Impossible YouTube video. 08 Sep 2016
A look inside a venue where table tennis will be contested. On the court are four tennis tables set up.

The RioCentro - Pavilion 3 will stage table tennis during the Rio 2016 Games.

ⒸGetty Images

Egyptian table tennis player Ibrahim Hamadtou says his “dream has come true” as he prepares to make his Paralympic Games debut.


Hamadtou, who starred in the YouTube video ‘Nothing is Impossible’, looks set to wow fans when he competes in his Class 6 Group D match against Great Britain’s David Wetherill.


Hamadtou lost his arms in a train accident when he was 10 years old. He plays table tennis by holding the racket in his mouth, and serves by flicking the ball up with his foot.


“I was trying first to use the bat under the arm, and I also tried using other things that weren't working so well,” he said. “Finally, I tried using my mouth.”


Hamadtou qualified for Rio 2016 by finishing second at the 2016 African Championships.


“I feel really happy playing table tennis,” he said. “Now my dream has come true of playing in the Paralympic Games.


“I want to tell everybody that nothing is impossible, and everybody should work hard for what you love and what you think is good for yourself.


“The disability is not in arms or legs, the disability is to not persevere in whatever you would like to do.”


But he faces a tough challenge against Wetherill, who has also been an internet star with his phenomenal shot at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.