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Éric Moussambani

Biographical information

TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexMale
Full nameÉric•Moussambani Malonga
Used nameÉric•Moussambani
Nick/petnamesThe Eel
Born31 May 1978
NOC Equatorial Guinea

Biography

Éric Moussambani became famous at the 2000 Sydney Olympics when he finished the 100 metre freestyle in the slowest time in Olympic history. Scheduled in the first heat with two other swimmers, when they false started, Moussambani had to swim alone. He struggled to finish the race and finished last overall in a time slower than what the top swimmers would do in the 200 metres. Despite this, television made him world famous for his efforts. Moussambani also carried the Equatorial Guinean flag at the Sydney Opening Ceremony.

Known as “Eric the Eel,” Moussambani had never before swum in a 50-metre pool and had only begun swimming a few months before the Sydney Olympics. Equatorial Guinea found it could enter one male swimmer and put out a call for athletes to compete, and Moussambani was the only one who answered the call. He trained in a 20-metre hotel pool, the only one available to him. Moussambani continued to swim and improved his time to 56.9 by 2004 and to 52.18 in 2006 at a meet in Germany. He later became national swim coach in Equatorial Guinea, while also working for a petroleum company.

Personal Best: 100 m freestyle – 52.18 (2006).

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
2000 Summer Olympics Swimming (Aquatics) GEQ Éric Moussambani
100 metres Freestyle, Men (Olympic) 71

Other participations

Games Role NOC As
2000 Summer Olympics Flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony GEQ Éric Moussambani