EFEBy Carla Samon Ros Lima

Maria Lourdes Castillo glides around the court in her wheelchair and then makes a 360-degree turn in a split second, pushing the device with one hand while holding her racket in the other.

Although she looks as if she's played her entire life, Peru's national wheelchair tennis champion since 2001 did not pick up the sport until she was in her early-30s.

Now aged 52, she is determined to add to her impressive trophy haul even though - like the rest of the disabled population in the Andean nation - she faces numerous obstacles in her daily life.

Castillo was only three when her left leg was amputated, sidelining her dream of becoming a high-level competitive athlete for decades.

But that all changed when she learned about the existence of wheelchair tennis and embarked on a quest that has led to a spot in the top 100 of the ITF's Uniqlo Wheelchair Tennis Tour Rankings.

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