Meet the Indian arm-wrestling champ who is just 3ft 5in tall

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London, October 07 (ANI): Joby Matthew is just 3ft 5inches tall but his arms are so strong that he has bagged one gold, one silver, and three bronze medals at international arm wrestling competitions.

In fact, the man from Kerala who works as a sports trainer lifts huge weights and does push-ups on just one hand.

Joby's underdeveloped legs caused by Proximal Fimoral Focal Deficiency have not stopped him from achieving success.

The sportsperson is immensely grateful to his family for their support.

"I was definitely given a lot of encouragement at home. My home was located on top of a hill and for a physically challenged person it wasn't the most conducive place for mobility," the Telegraph quoted him as saying.

"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," he added.

Referring to his childhood days, he said: "I had many painful experiences there like when I was left out of games and sports.

"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."

Joby started his arm wrestling career by initially challenging bigger children at playground arm-wrestling where boys tried to prove their strength.

He added: "I realised I would never play football so I began searching for games that I could do well. Arm wrestling was my answer.

"I began to arm wrestle with my schoolmates and found I could beat them. Back in school it was a mark of machismo, so I had to win."

Joby participated in Japan World Championships in 2005 to win three bronze medals - one for general category against non-disabled competitors and two in disabled categories on different hands.

And at the 2008 WC in Spain he won gold for the general category and silver for the disabled event.

During the competitions opponents are assigned to classes according to weight.

However, Joby does not believe himself to be as less able than others.

He explained: "My legs were extremely small at birth. According to science my legs are 60percent underdeveloped.

"But I think all of us are physically challenged in some way, so I never consider myself handicapped. According to the world I am, but it will never stop me from trying anything."

Joby works out at the gym for an hour every day and also swims extensively in a local river.

He has a 25-year-old wife Megha, who is a dance expert, and a two-month-old baby boy. (ANI)

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