25 July, 2021


Learn more about the Tunisian teenager, who caused a huge upset to win 400m freestyle gold at Tokyo 2020.

Tunisian swimmer Ahmed Hafnaoui shocked the world on the first night of swimming finals at Tokyo 2020.

The 18-year-old beat a star-studded field to land his nation’s first Olympic medal ever in the men’s 400 freestyle.

He touched home in 3:43:36.

Here are five things to know about the swimmer.

1 – Youth Olympic Games athlete

Hafnaoui joined Tunisia’s national swimming programme as a 12-year-old.

He competed in the 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, finishing 8th in the 400m and 7th in the 800m.

2 – Olympic final underdog

Hafnaoui swam a 3:45.68 time in the 400 freestyle prelims to qualify in 8th place for the men’s 400 freestyle final.

In 2019, he told French outlet LaPresse that he was aiming to win gold at the Paris 2024 Olympics!

3 – Tunisian history maker

Hafnaoui’s idol is Tunisian distance swimming legend Oussama Mellouli , who won the 1500m at Beijing 2008 and the 10km marathon swim at London 2012.

Hafnaoui has become his nation’s second swimming gold medallist ever.

4 – Tunisia at the Olympics

The north African nation now has a total of five gold medals at the Olympic Games.

In addition to Hafnaoui and Mellouli, runner Mohammed Gammoudi won gold in the 5000m at Mexico City 1968, while 3000m steeplechase runner Habiba Ghribi won at London 2012.

5 – Strong sporting genes

The swimming prodigy is the son of ex-Tunisian national basketball player Mohamed Hafnaoui.

Published under Promotion on 25 July, 2021.

Latest update on 08 August, 2021.