Rio 2016: Paralympian Natalie Partyka earns Olympic spot

Polish table tennis player Natalia Partyka
Partyka made her Paralympic debut in 2000 aged 11

Polish table tennis player Natalia Partyka has become the latest Paralympic athlete to secure a place at the Rio Olympics.

The 26-year-old three-time Paralympic gold medallist, who was born without her right hand and part of her forearm, also competed at both Games in 2008 and 2012.

She joins fellow table tennis player Melissa Tapper from Australia and Iranian archer Zahra Nemati, who have also qualified to compete at both events later this summer.

"I hope this shows all disabled athletes that nothing is impossible," said Partyka, the world number 73, who will take part in the Olympic team event.

Tapper, 26, who has Erb's Palsy after her shoulder nerves were damaged during birth, will play in both the singles and team events at the Olympics, which take place from 5-21 August.

Tapper represented Australia at the 2014 Commonwealth Games
Tapper represented Australia at the 2014 Commonwealth Games

She competed for Australia at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, winning team bronze, and will be the first Australian to take part in both Games.

"I think that it's awesome that the Paralympic athletes are breaking down barriers and getting to participate in the Olympics," she said.

The Rio Paralympics run from 7-18 September.

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