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Ibrahim Hamadtou hailed a ‘legend’ despite losing his Paralympics debut

Ibrahim Hamadtou

Photo: International Table Tennis Federation

Great Britain’s David Wetherill described Egypt’s Ibrahim Hamadtou as a ‘legend’ after defeating him in the first match of the men’s table tennis singles class 6 at the Rio 2016 Paralympics.

The British champion enjoyed a comfortable victory over Hamadtou and dominated all three rounds on Thursday, as he won the first and second round 11-5 and 11-7, respectively, before securing victory with an 11-5 win in the final round to wrap up the win inside 17 minutes.

Wetherill, who is playing his third Paralympic Games, praised the Egyptian champion, saying it was an honour to face Hamadtou, who is a double amputee and holds the racket with his mouth.

EXCLUSIVE: Egyptian amputee Ibrahim Hamadtou eyes Paralympic glory

“It was an absolute honour for me to start off against the legend that is Ibrahim. It was a strange one to prepare for because I’ve seen him on YouTube and he’s a legend in table tennis,” David Wetherill told reporters.

“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 and I’ve got so much respect for him,: he added.

Hamadtou also expressed his admiration for Wetherill, saying he was satisfied with his performance during the game.

“It is my first Paralympic Games, I lost to a very good player; David is amongst the best in the world. I feel that I played really well, an excellent performance”, Hamadtou said.

“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”, concluded Hamadtou.

The 43-year-old who won the silver medals in the 2013 and 2015 African Championships is scheduled to face Thomas Rau of Germany early on Saturday in the last match of the group stage.

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