(Hyderabad, 09.12.12, by V. V. Subrahmayam) A medical
blunder – a wrong dose of vaccine forced an amputation of her right arm
– when she was three-year-old. But, at 17, Bruna Alexandre is in the
mood to only look ahead, clearly determined to script another story of
triumph over adversity in the world of sport.
There was no doubt that she was the focal point for the handful of
spectators, who trooped into the venue of the world juniors table
tennis championship in Hyderabad on Sunday. For the simple reason that
Bruna was not only braving a major disability (playing with one hand)
but also seemed to be least ruffled by this adversity.
"I don't give really a thought to this problem (referring to her hand).
I just want to go there and enjoy the game," says Bruna, who took to
the sport at the age of eight when she accompanied her brother and
For the remarkably composed paddler, who hails from the south of
Brazil, this is her maiden world championship and is apparently keen to
make an impact. Earlier, she used to keep the racket in the 'armpit'
and toss the ball with the left-hand but had to dispense that because
it racket was getting wet and not giving her the desired grip.
The way she tosses up the ball to serve - holding the
racket and ball in her left hand – was a touching scene as combined
grit and ease. "It took two months of real tough training to master
this art and I am grateful to my first coach Alexandre Ghizi," she
Lincon Yasuda, Brazil coach believes that Bruna has the game to go to
places. "She is good both in attack and defence and is remarkably
cool," he says.
For her part, Bruna has already started dreaming big – to win a
Paralympics gold and also represent Brazil in the 2016 Summer Olympics
which will be Rio (Brazil). "There is no better feeling than to
represent your country in Olympics," says this young paddler, who drew
inspiration from another differently-abled star Natalia Partyka of
Not surprisingly, Bruna's loves football too and is a big fan of Kaka.
"Oh! I love watching him in action," she says with a big smile.