- 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 Tokyo Olympic Games
- The 18-year-old beat Australia’s Jack McLoughlin, who clinched the silver, and American Kieran Smith, who went home with the bronze
- Hafnaoui was an underdog going into the finals after qualifying into the last hurdle with one of the slowest times
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.
The 18-year-old, who had one of the worst qualifying times going into the finals, stunned other top athletes to win gold, according to the New York Post.
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 as the 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:
"I don't know."
Meanwhile, Briefly News 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.
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.
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