Eric “the Eel” Moussambani is set for a return to the Olympics 12 years after the African swimmer gained worldwide notice for his famously slow performances.
Moussambani, 33, has been named the Equatorial Guinea Olympic swimming team coach for this year’s games in London, although it’s not yet clear who or how many swimmers the country hopes to send this time.
The government website says Moussambani’s appointment was confirmed by Equatorial Guinea’s swimming federation and its Olympic committee earlier this month. He will lead the team if he can get time off from his job with an oil company.
Moussambani became a fan and media favorite at the Sydney Games in 2000 with his slow performances. His one minute, 52.72 seconds in the 100 metres freestyle heats was more than double that of leading competitors and even outside the 200m world record.
Moussambani was given a place at the 2000 Olympics through a wildcard system and effectively won his heat after the other two swimmers were disqualified for false starts.
It left the man from the small, oil-rich nation in central Africa, who had never been in an Olympic-size pool before, to swim the heat on his own.