paralympics
Para Table Tennis

Germany's Stephanie Grebe competes against Brazil during the quarterfinal of the women's team table tennis in the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. (Yasyoshi Chiba/Getty Images)

What's it all about?

Ever played a friendly game of table tennis, but wanted to level it up with some intense paddle moves, cool spins and ball speeds in excess of 100 kilometres an hour? If you want to upgrade your skills, then the sport of para table tennis is for you!

How it's played

Things to watch for

an athlete sits in a wheelchair with a cushion in the seat and is ready to hit the ball
Scott Robertson of Great Britain in his match against Ningning Cao of China in Men's Singles Table Tennis at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. (Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
Cushion cheats
  • Competitors using wheelchairs can have a cushion to sit on. 
  • It cannot be thicker than 15 centimetres so one athlete doesn't have a higher seat advantage over another.
an athlete had a paddle attached to his left arm as a prosthetic
Rainer Schmidt of Germany competes in the Men's Individual Class 6 Table Tennis event during day five of the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games. (China Photos/Getty Images)
Adapted prosthetics
  • Some of the athletes have adapted their prosthetic limbs to work with the racquets. 
  • This gives them better control when hitting the ball.
an athlete picks up the ball with his foot and throws it into the air to hit with the paddle he is holding in his mouth
Egypt's Ibrahim Hamadtou competes in table tennis at the Riocentro during the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. (Christophe Simon/Getty Images)
Use all of your body
  • Some athletes, like Ibrahim Hamadtou of Egypt, learn to use other parts of their body to play para table tennis. 
  • He uses his mouth to hold the paddle to hit the ball and his legs and feet to pick up and serve the ball.