By Tom Degun

Natalia Partyka_31-07-12July 31 - Table tennis player Natalia Partyka of Poland believes that she will have an advantage over her opponents at the London 2012 Paralympic Games after competing at the Olympics last week.

The 23-year-old, who was born without a right forearm, is one of just two athletes competing at both the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics alongside South Africa's double leg amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius.

But unlike Pistorius, who will feature in the athletics competition next week, Partyka (pictured above and below) has already competed at the Olympics when she appeared at Beijing 2008.

She did not medal at those Olympics but she is a double Paralympic champion having won gold in the women's individual class 10 at both Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008.

After a valiant performance in the London 2012 Olympic singles competition at the ExCeL Arena, Partyka lost 4-2 in her third round match to Jie Li of the Netherlands.

However, she is still set to compete in the team event later this week and insists the Olympic experience will help her win more gold at the Paralympics in less than a month, with the table tennis competition also scheduled to take place at ExCeL.

"When I play here in the Paralympics, I probably will be at an advantage, having played here already," said Partyka.

"But everybody else will get the chance to practice here, so will be prepared."

Natalia Partyka_beijing_2008_31-07-12
"For me, disability is nothing," she added.

"I am playing the same lines as the others.

"I am doing the same exercises.

"We have the same goals and the same dreams and I can play like them.

"I can serve and don't have any problems.

"I get a bit bored about being asked about disability all the time."

But Partyka admitted she was hopeful that her achievements act as an inspiration to others.

"Maybe someone will see me and realise that their own disability is not the end of the world," she said.

"Maybe someone will look at me and think they can achieve something bigger than they thought.

"Maybe sometimes you have to work a little bit harder if you really want to do something.

"If I'm an inspiration I can't complain."

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