People are being downright unkind to an Ethiopian swimmer, body-shaming him for having what, in one of the more charitable comments, is called a dad bod.

Robel Kiros Habte swam in the men's 100-metre freestyle heats on Tuesday and finished last in the three-swimmer heat.

Overall, he finished last among the 59 competitors in the eight heats with a time of 1 minute 4.95 seconds. Habte confessed that his personal best was 59.08 seconds; Australia's Kyle Chalmers won Olympic gold with a time of 47.9 seconds.

Ecadf, an Ethiopian news site, called him "out of shape." Others coldly called him "Robel the Whale." Habte is 1.79m and weighs 81kg. Chalmers, for instance, is 1.95m and weighs 88kg.

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Others noted that Habte is the son of the president of the country's swimming federation.

Whatever brought him to Rio, the 24-year-old college student was a crowd favourite and was pretty happy just to be there.

"I wanted to do something different for my country, that's why I chose swimming," he told Reuters. "Everybody, every day you wake up in Ethiopia, you run. Not swimming. But I didn't want to run, I wanted to be a swimmer. It didn't matter where I finished."