Ahmed Hafnaoui joins Ous Mellouli to be the only Tunisian to win a gold medal for swimming. In the Olympics this year, Africa won its first gold medal in the 400 meters freestyle. Hafnaoui performed spectacularly at Tokyo games on Sunday, beating a field of faster and older swimmers.
The 18-year-old finished in just 43.26 seconds (three minutes). He started as the slowest qualifier in the final. He said that he did not believe it when he touched the wall and was very surprised to see himself touching it first. He further added that he was only thinking about the medal and not the time. He entered the final by 14-hundredth of a second and landed himself in the far outside lane. When he started nobody was watching him but when he finished all eyes were on him.
Australian swimmer Jack McLoughlin won silver and American Kieran Smith earned bronze. All three swimmers were separated by less than a second after the eight-lap race. Hafnaoui is the North African Country’s fourth Olympic gold medalist. He became the second-youngest athlete from an African nation to win a gold medal in swimming. His coach was all proud of him and dedicated it to all the Tunisian people.