Mellouli gets presidential welcome

AFP, Wednesday 22 Dec 2010

Tunisia Oussama Mellouli was received by the country's president after winning gold in the World Swimming Championship

(photo : Reuters)

Tunisia President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali personally received at Carthage Airport Oussam Mellouli after he won gold at the World Swimming Championship on Sunday in Dubai.

The 26-year old swimmer beat Mads Glaesner (Denmark) and Gergely Gyurta (Hungary) to win the 1500m race.

It was Mellouli's fourth medal in Dubai after winning silver in the 4x400 and two bronze medals in the 200 and 400 metres events.

"I won because of God's help and your support,' Mellouli told Ben Ali.

Mellouli received a hero's welcome as hundreds of fans showed up at the airport chanting and dancing, awaiting their champion.

The Tunisian hero has already won gold for the 1500 metres event in the Olympic Games of 2008 and the World Championship in Rome in 2009.

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