Norway’s new swimming star, Henrik Christiansen, was jubilant after his performance at the recent World Championships in South Korea. He could come home triumphant to a country still mourning the loss of its former world champ, Alexander Dale Oen.
No Norwegian swimmer had won a long-distance medal in the World Championships since Oen’s gold in 2011. Christiansen ended the drought on Saturday, when he won silver in the 800-meter freestyle with a time of 7:41.28. He thus became the first Norwegian in a longer distance competition to win after Oen, who died of a heart attack in 2012.
Christiansen also went on to set a new Nordic record when he placed fifth in the 1500-meter freestyle on Saturday. “It’s a wonderful feeling,” Christiansen told state broadcaster NRK after completing the event with a time of 14:49.67.
The 22-year-old swimmer from Lambertseter in Oslo said he could then finally celebrate his silver medal earlier in the competition. An emotional coach Petter Løvberg told NRK he was certain that Oen “would have been proud over the way Norwegian swimming has risen up again.”