An 18-year-old Tunisian managed to pull off a surprise in the 400 meter freestyle swimming event, winning the fifth gold medal ever for his country.
Olympic Swimming Gold for Tunisia
Ahmed Hafnaoui, Hafnaoui, son of former Tunisian national basketball player Mohamed Hafnaoui, erupted in jubilation when he realized he won in the extremely tight race, pumping his fists and placing both hands on his brow as he took in the victory.
He seemed genuinely shocked at the result. Hafnaoui came into the race with the slowest qualifying time of the eight swimmers – but he touched the wall first, beating out Australia’s Jack McLoughlin by just 0.16 seconds. Kieran Smith from the U.S. took bronze, about a half-second behind the winner.
It was Tunisia’s fifth ever gold – and third in swimming. The last swimming Olympic medal for Tunisia was in 2012 at the London Games, when Oussama Mellouli won gold in the 10 km marathon.
Hafnaoui will have a second shot at gold as he competes in the 800m freestyle, with heats starting on Tuesday.
Related Read: Taekwondo Fighter Wins First Olympic Medal for Tunisia in Tokyo