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The first big surprise of Tokyo 2020: the historic gold of the 18-year-old Tunisian swimmer Ahmed Hafnaoui


He is the second man from his country to hang a gold medal in the pool: he won the 400 meters freestyle.

07/25/2021 12:14 AM

  • Clarí

  • sports

Updated 07/25/2021 1:20 AM


Tunisian swimmer

Ahmed Hafnaoui

won gold on Sunday morning in Japan (Saturday night in Argentina) and gave the first big surprise by winning the 400-meter freestyle final of the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

Hafnaoui, who disputes his first date of the five rings, thus became the

second Olympic champion of Tunisia

in swimming, following in the wake of Oussama Mellouli (two Olympic golds and one silver).

He finished with a time of 3m43s36, ahead of Australian

Jack McLoughlin

(3m43s52), silver, and American

Kieran Smith

(3m43s94), bronze.


I do not believe it, it

is incredible. Today I felt better in the water than yesterday (in the qualifications). I am an Olympic champion! I just put my head in the water and that's it. It's incredible, a dream come true," he said.

Hafnaoui's time in the Olympic final

is the third best of the year

in the distance.

Tunisian Ahmed Hafnaoui with his gold medal.

Photo Jonathan NACKSTRAND / AFP

Still in the water, Ahmed Hafnaoui can't believe his feat.

AP Photo / Petr David Josek

Hafnaoui, who "slipped" into the final

with the worst record of all the participants

, showed from the beginning that neither his registration time, nor the eighth street from which he started, were going to prevent him from standing up to the favorites.

As he already demonstrated at the conclusion of the first hundred meters, which he completed

in third position

only behind the Australian Elijah Winnington and the American Kieran Smith.


what seemed to be a mere anecdote

fruit of the impetus of the young North African swimmer, who will turn 19 next December,

soon became a real threat

to the top favorites.

If halfway through the test Ahmed Hafnaoui gave up just 20 hundredths with the leader of the test, Australian Jack McLoughlin, after completing the next hundred meters the Tunisian had only given up eleven hundredths more.

A distance that made the young Tunisian swimmer dream of the impossible, who arrived in Tokyo with the

thirty-first best

world record of the year, after setting a time of 3m46s16 at the French Championships.

But today was the day for Hafnaoui,

who with a spectacular last


finally managed to overtake Australian McLoughlin and be crowned the new Olympic champion.


Look also

Tokyo 2020: Natalia Partyka, the Paralympic athlete who also dreams of going far in the Olympic Games

Djokovic and Dellien, the sport in its purest form that some chose not to enjoy in Tokyo 2020

Source: clarin

All news articles on 2021-07-25

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