Olympic Games Tokyo 2020: Tunisian Hafnaoui win 400m swim gold

Hafnaoui Ahmed

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Di gold medal win really sweet Ahmed belle

Teenage swimmer Ahmed Hafnaoui shock di Tokyo Aquatic Centre to become di first African to win gold medal for 2020 Olympics after shock win for di 400m freestyle.

Di 18-year old, wey bin be di slowest of di qualifiers for di final, produce one of di biggest surprise of di Games so far as im beat Australia Jack McLoughlin, wey win silver, and Kieran Smith of USA, wey take bronze.

Hafnaoui arrive di Olympics with time wey be di 15th best of di field and only qualify for di final in eighth place, something wey put am for di less favoured outer lane eight.

But e swim hard from di start and produce brilliant final 50 metres to tap di wall in first. Im winning time of three minutes 43.36 dey three seconds faster than e personal best.

“I bin dey surprised say I be finalist and now I dey surprised to get gold,” Hafnaoui tok.

“I believe am when I touch di wall and I see myself first. I bin dey so surprised. I no expect am.”

Hafnaoui now only be di second Tunisian to win gold for swimming event for Olympics, after double champion Oussamma Mellouli – wey go swim for di 10km marathon later in di competition. And e role for di Games never finish, as im go also compete for di 800m freestyle on Tuesday.

Di title na Tunisia fifth Olympic gold medal.

“I bin get tears for my eyes – when I see di flag of my country and I hear di anthem for di background e dey great. I dey so proud of am,” Hafnaoui tok afterwards.

“When I hit di water, I just think about winning di medal not di time, and to go faster than yesterday,”

“I see di Australian guy for second 200m, I feel great in di water, na great fight in di end.”

Ahmed Hafnaoui

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Ahmed Hafnaoui na Tunisia second swimming gold medallist

Analysis: Celestine Karoney, BBC Africa Sport in Tokyo

400m freestyle Olympic champion Ahmed Hafnaoui bin dey emotional as di Tunisian national anthem ring out of di Tokyo Aquatic centre for Japan.

Di 18-year-old wey dis be im first Olympic surprise pipo to win e first Olympic title and Africa first gold of dis Games. Im performance na one of di outstanding results during swimming’s morning session and pipo wey represent di few teams for di Aquatic Centre clap for am – as fans no dey allowed at di Games.

And di 18-year-old never finish just yet – im get opportunity to build on e medal tally on Tuesday, when di 800m freestyle return to di Olympics for di first time in a century.

On paper, dis na Hafnaoui stronger race – im rank eighth overall, and today e result don set am up as medal contender for di longer distance.

Di Tunis-based athlete begin swimming for di age of six when e father Mohammed register am for swimming club after dem waka pass pool one day. Twelve years on, im don win e country fifth Olympic gold medal, wey im dedicate to e family and build on di legacy of di kontri first Olympic gold medallist Oussamma Mellouli.