Meet the Indian arm-wrestling champion Joby Matthew who is just 3ft 5in tall. In these amazing pictures the pint-sized powerhouse, from Kerala, India, can be seen easily jumping up steps using only his hands. And in further astonishing displays of muscular prowess Mr Matthew, who has just become a dad for the first time, amazes onlookers as he lifts huge weights and does push ups on just one hand. His thirst for life means he also drives a specially-converted car that lets him drive using only his arms.
‘I was definitely given a lot of encouragement at home,’ he said.
‘My home was located on top of a hill, and for a physically-challenged person it wasn’t the most conducive place for mobility. ‘There were obstructions everywhere. I had to walk a quarter of a mile before I got to a real road and my mother used to carry me to school.
That is how I made it to school in first year.’ At school, Mr Matthew became all the more determined to overcome his disability as he was forced to sit on the sidelines while other students played exciting sports. ‘I had many painful experiences there like when I was left out of games and sports,’ he said.
‘But I don’t want to blame anyone. They presumed that since I was handicapped I wouldn’t be able to compete.
‘I saw kids coming to school riding their bicycles and I felt bad knowing I would never be able to do that. But even then, I tried not to concentrate on things I could not do, but on things I could do. ‘So I began playing sports like volley ball, badminton and soon I was playing with able-bodied kids.’
In the Japan World Championships 2005 he impressively bagged three bronze medals – one for general category against non-disabled competitors and two in disabled categories on different hands. Then – reaching the top of his game at the 2008 World Championships in Spain – he coolly pocketed gold for the general category and silver for the disabled event.