Ahmed Hafnaoui is a competitive swimmer that represents Tunisia internationally. He won a gold medal at the 2020 Olympic Games in the 400 freestyle at just the age of 18.
2020 Olympic Games
The day 1 recipient of the Prelims All-Star award was Tunisia’s Ahmed Hafnaoui who swam a 3:45.68 400 freestyle to qualify in 8th place for the men’s 400 freestyle final. Tunisia is widely known for its Olympic legend and 2008 1500 freestyle victor Ous Mellouli but this Olympic final-qualifying swim from Hafnaoui was a solid step forward for the country. Hafnaoui became the second Tunisian swimmer to ever qualify for an Olympic final.
Hafnaoui got his hand on the wall during prelims in a 3:45.68 which was just 0.14 seconds quicker than 9th place finisher Antonio Djakovic who hit a 3:45.82 Swiss record. Hafnaoui finished less than a second behind the 4th – 7th place finishers meaning that if he can shave off a bit of time during the second swim, he has the potential to move up. If the field is at their best tonight, however, the podium will likely be slightly out of reach for Hafnaoui as 5 of the top 8 swimmers in the final have now been a 3:44.51 or faster. While Winnington and McLoughlin of Australia both missed the top heading into finals, they will still be competitive for the crown, having swum a 3:42.65 and 3:43.27, respectively, at Olympic Trials.
In finals, swimming out of lane 8, Hafnaoui did it again, not only winning a medal but swimming a perfect race and getting his hand on the wall first, winning a gold medal with a time of 3:43.36.
2021 Short Course World Championships
In his first big international meet following the Tokyo Olympics, Hafnaoui proved that his Olympic gold wasn’t a fluke. After failing to final in the 400 free (3:40.30), he qualified 2nd in the heats of the 1500. In the final, he held his seed, not only earning a silver medal but breaking the African record in the event with a time of 14:10.94.