Equatorial Guinea backlash leaves Eric the Eel floundering

Olympic swimmer Eric "the Eel" Moussambani has been banned from training in his country's only swimming pool because he shamed his nation, it was reported today.

Olympic swimmer Eric "the Eel" Moussambani has been banned from training in his country's only swimming pool because he shamed his nation, it was reported today.

Moussambani, 21, won the hearts of millions worldwide when he set the slowest-ever time for a 100m swim at the Sydney Olympic Games.

More recently, he sparked a diplomatic alert when he travelled to Britain, against the wishes of his country's president, in order to present a national television award.

His fellow countrymen in Equatorial Guinea do not share the world's respect for him - they feel his 100m time of almost two minutes - achieved after only learning to swim in January this year - has embarrassed their nation.

He told a French newspaper: "When I got off the plane, the only people to meet me at the airport were my parents.

"What is worse is that some people have been downright rude to me. Some even say I have brought shame on my country."

He added: "I now have to train in the sea because the manager of the Ureka Hotel in Malabo, which has the only swimming pool in Equatorial Guinea, has told me I'm no longer allowed in."

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