The Tunisian Ahmed Hafnaoui, 18, created a sensation Sunday by winning the final of the 400 m freestyle at the Tokyo Olympics. He succeeds his compatriot Oussama Mellouli, crowned on 1 500 m during the Games of Beijing.
The young swimmer of the Esperance Sportive of Tunis, specialist of the long distances, completed the race in 3 min 43 sec 36, third best time of the year, topping in the last length the Australian Jack McLoughlin (3:43.52), 26 years.
Arrived in the final with the eighth time, Ahmed Hafnaoui became the second Tunisian to win an Olympic gold medal after the exploits of his compatriot Oussama Mellouli, crowned over 1,500 m at the Beijing Games in 2008.
In 2018, the prodigy of Tunisian swimming had been bronze medalist on the same distance at the African Youth Games. The same year, Ahmed Ayoub Hafnaoui had won at the African Championships a silver medal on the relay 4 x 200 m freestyle and three bronze medals, on 800 m freestyle, on 1 500 m freestyle and on the relay 4 x 100 m freestyle. More recently, he won two titles at the last French swimming championships in the 400m and 800m freestyle.
Ahmed Hafnaoui offered his country its second medal in Tokyo after the silver medal won Saturday by the Taekwondo champion Khalil Jendoubi.