London: Tunisia’s Osama Mellouli made the Arab world proud when he swam his way to the 10km open water gold medal at Hyde Park today.
Held on an unusually hot day at 27 degrees Celsius, Mellouli waited until the fifth and final loop to break clear from the top group of four swimmers and win in a time of 1hr 49min 55.1sec.
He stayed within the pack led by Canada’s Richard Weinberge and Petar Stoychev early on, but as he turned towards the final lap, Mellouli made a surge to win.
This is Mellouli’s second medal at the London Games after he took the bronze in the 1,500m at the Aquatics Centre last week.
He stayed within the pack led by Canada’s Richard Weinberge and Petar Stoychev early on, but as he turned towards the final lap, Mellouli made a surge to win by nearly four seconds from Thomas Lurz of Germany, while Weinberge took the bronze.
“This has been a tremendous Olympic Games for me,” Mellouli told Gulf News. “I am tired, very tired and I need to get some rest. I am not getting any younger!”
He became the 1,500m freestyle world champion at the 2009 World Aquatics Championships with a winning time of 14:37.28, the second best performance of all time. The 28-year-old Tunisian also won gold in the 1,500m freestyle at the 2008 Beijing Games following his qualification after serving an 18-month suspension for a positive drug test in 2006.