October 15, 2021

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Tokyo 2020: Unknown 18-year-old African athlete wins gold against the odds in swimming

  • Ahmed Hafnaoui is now a national hero for Tunisia as he won a gold medal in the 400 metres freestyle swimming event at the ongoing Olympics
  • The 18-year-old beat Australia’s Jack McLoughlin to silver and American Kieran Smith who went home with bronze
  • Hafnaoui was an underdog going into the finals after qualifying into the last hurdle with one of the slowest times

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Ahmed Hafnaoui is the biggest story of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics so far after he won the 400 metres freestyle swimming event at the Games, New York Post, Arab Times.

The 18-year-old had one of the worst times qualifying into the finals as he stunned other top athletes to win gold.

Ahmed Hafnaoui :18-year-old African Tunisian Athlete Wins Gold In Swimming
Ahmed Hafnaoui stunned the world as he won gold at the 400m freestyle in swimming at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Games.
Photo by Jean Catuffe
Source: Getty Images

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How it all happened for Hafnaoui

Hafnaoui who is relatively unknown in the winning world finished in a time of 3:43.36 and he could not believe his eyes.

He repeatedly screamed hitting the water, removing his cap and went into other lanes to celebrate with other swimmers.

The Tunisian started the race by keeping pace with other swimmers and pulled away in the latter stages of the race to emerge winner.

In the close finish, Hafnaoui beat Australia’s Jack McLoughlin by 14-hundredths of a second to win the gold while Kieran Smith took the bronze for the United States.

Hafnaoui who was not used to winning did not know where to stand when the medal presentation was about to take place until Smith moved him to the winner’s spot.

Hafnaoui told the media:

“I just can’t accept that.

“It’s too unbelievable.”

He was lost for words when a reporter asked him what it felt like to become a national hero as he said:

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“I don’t know.”

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Meanwhile, Legit.ng had earlier reported that Fethi Nourine is the first athlete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games to have been sent home after withdrawing from competing with Israel’s Tohar Butbul, Complete Sports, Japan Times.

Nourine was slated to face Butbul in the second round of the 73kg men’s category if he went past Sudan’s Mohamed Abdalrasool.

The 30-year-old told the press that he withdrew because his support for Palestine is bigger than his Olympic dreams.

Source: Legit