Tunisia's Oussama Mellouli made history when he achieved a thrilling victory in the finals of the 1500m freestyle swimming at Beijing Olympic Games, winning the first Arab gold medal on Sunday.
Mellouli sprinted clear with 300m left and held off Australian Grant Hackett's spirited finish to win in 14 minutes 40.84 seconds and become Tunisia's first-ever Olympic swimming champion.
The Tunisian champion ended Hackett's dream of an historic three in the 1500m freestyle Olympic gold medals.
Hackett, the winner of the event in Sydney and Athens and bidding to become the first man to win three Olympics titles in the same event, took the silver medal in 14:41.53, only 0.69secs behind.
Canadian Ryan Cochrane, who led up to the 1000m, finished third in 14:42.69.
"I've been waiting for this moment for two years," said Mellouli, who only recently returned from a doping ban.
"I had expectations for the 400m freestyle, but this is a great surprise.
"I felt good in the first 400m of this race and at the 800m and 900m I started believing that I could win.
"It was all calculated. I slowed down in the penultimate 100m to save my energy and attack in the final 50m.
Mellouli, 24, served an 18-month doping ban after becoming Tunisia's first swimming world champion with a come-from-behind win in the 800m freestyle at last year's world championships in Melbourne.
He was subsequently stripped of the title after testing positive for amphetamines and only completed his ban in May in time to swim at the Olympics.
"It's the redemption I wanted and I got it," Mellouli said.
Last Sunday, Algeria's Soraya Haddad kicked off the Arab quest for Olympic glory in Beijing, winning the bronze in the judo women's -52kg final.
On Wednesday, Amar Benikhlef from Algeria snatched an historic silver medal in the men's 90kg category of judo competitions.
In the same day, Egypt's Hesham Mesbah became the first judo medal winner of his country, after winning bronze in the men's 90kg category.