RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 9: Ibrahim Hamadtou of Egypt competes in the men's singles Table Tennis - Class 6 on day 2 of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games at Riocentro - Pavilion 3 on September 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Lucas Uebel/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Egypt’s armless table tennis player ‘a legend,’ Paralympic opponent says

1 Comment

Egyptian armless table tennis player Ibrahim Hamadtou was YouTube famous before the Paralympics. The awe is shared by at least one of his peers in Rio.

Hamadtou was swept in both of his Class 6 singles matches in his first Paralympics at age 43 last week, including his opener to Great Britain’s David Wetherill.

“He’s a legend in table tennis,” Wetherill, also YouTube famous, said of the only armless player in the competition, according to Agence France-Presse. “I was feeling the pressure, a bit jittery. [Then] you see people like Ibrahim, and you can’t possibly feel nervous: he puts things in perspective, the things he can do.

“In table tennis it is skill versus skill, and I know I won today, but I think he has demonstrated far more skill than I have just now,” Wetherill said, according to the English Table Tennis Federation.

Hamadtou lost his arms above the elbow due to a train accident at age 10.

“After the accident, he stayed shut up at home for three years. He wouldn’t go out,” his coach said, according to AFP.

Hamadtou turned to sport, first soccer, and then table tennis. He said he started the latter at age 13, reportedly taking three years to learn and adapt. He flicks the ball up with his toes and holds the paddle between his teeth.

“I was trying first to use the bat under the arm, and I also tried using other things that weren’t working so well,” Hamadtou said, according to the International Table Tennis Federation. “Finally, I tried using my mouth.”

Though Hamadtou went winless in Rio, he doesn’t see it that way.

“Not all defeats are defeats,” Hamadtou said, according to the International Paralympic Committee. “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.”

MORE: Rio Paralympics broadcast schedule

China completes 3rd straight Olympic gold sweep of table tennis

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 17:  Gold medalists Long Ma, Xin Xu, and Jike Zhang of China celebrate during the medals ceremony after the Men's Table Tennis gold medal match against Japan at Riocentro - Pavilion 3 on Day 12 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games  on August 17, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)
Phil Walter/Getty Images
Leave a comment

With China having swept all four table tennis competitions at each of the last two Summer Olympics, they were expected to do the same in Rio. The Chinese completed that run Wednesday evening, as the men took gold in the men’s team competition.

China defeated Japan in the gold medal match three wins to one, with Jun Mizutani’s win over Xu Xin in the second singles match of the final being the lone victory for the silver medalists. For Ma Long and Zhang Jike this is their second medal of these Olympics, with Ma defeating Zhang in the men’s singles gold medal match. Mizutani leaves Rio with two medals as well, as he took bronze in men’s singles.

In the bronze medal match Germany defeated South Korea three wins to one, taking bronze for the second consecutive Summer Olympics and winning a medal in men’s team for the third consecutive Olympics. Germany took silver in Beijing in 2008. All three players were part of Germany’s bronze medal team in London, with two members (Timo Boll and Dimitrij Ovtcharov) having been part of all three of those teams.

WATCH LIVE: USA boxers hit quarterfinals; Table tennis, water polo continue

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 14:  Gary Russell of The United States of America or Team USA (red) and Wuttichai Masuk of Thailand compete in the Light Welterweight 64kg Men boxing bout on Day 9 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Riocentro - Pavilion 6 on August 14, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images
Leave a comment

USA fighters Shakur Stevenson and Gary Russell tape up for their next Olympic bouts on Tuesday in Rio.

Stevenson will face Mongolia bantamweight Tsendbaatar Erdenebat for a quarterfinal bout at 10:45 a.m. EDT, while light welterweight Russell is also in the quarters for a fight with Uzbekistan’s Fazliddin Gaibnazarov.

In table tennis, China and Germany go for gold in women’s team play, while Japan and Singapore battle for bronze.

Men’s water polo holds its quarterfinals, with Hungary and Montenegro starting the day with a 10 a.m. EDT match.

WATCH LIVE: Boxing — 10 a.m. EDT

WATCH LIVE: Table tennis — 10 a.m. EDT

WATCH LIVE: Men’s water polo — 10 a.m. EDT