Tunisian swimmer, Oussama Mellouli will participate in his fifth olympic games after grabbing his qualification ticket in Portugal.
Mellouli’s comeback is of great interest after a disappointing performance during the 2015 FINA world championships in Kazan.
“My goal was to secure a place for Rio. This is now done. However, it was a very physical race, with a lot of contact between the swimmers. It was tough!” he said.
I am quite happy to be swimming in the magical scenario of the Copacabana beach.
Mellouli says the secret lies in saving energy for final metres and accelerating at the end.
“To be in the leading group as much as possible, be careful when turning at the buoys, save some energy for the final metres, and accelerate in the end. It paid off, and I am quite happy to be swimming in the magical scenario of the Copacabana beach.”
He accepts that the challenge will not be an easy one.
“We are swimming in areas other than the swimming pool. So there are certainly risks and things that we cannot calculate or expect like the temperature of the water and waves. etc. At Copacabana beach the wave conditions will be about the same, I think. Therefore it is good to train.“Mellouli added.
Mellouli who is based in the US will spend a week in Tunisia before intensifying training in the United states.
Melouli also qualified for the 1500 metres free but has not made up his mind yet whether he will participate in this domain or not.
“He maybe 32 years of age but he thinks he is 18. This is important. He really enjoys the kids. He likes to play with them. He has been great for the entire team.” his coach, Bill Rose said.
Mellouli’s performance has made him a hero in Africa. . He counts three olympic medals to his credit In 2012, he distinguished himself as the only swimmer in history to have won a medal in the pool and marathon swimming in the same edition of the games.