Independent athlete without country in Olympic 2012

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

The IOC will allow a marathon runner born in what is now South Sudan to compete under the Olympic flag at the London Games.

The IOC executive board agreed on Saturday to allow U.S.-based Guor Marial to take part as an independent athlete.

The IOC said Marial has no passport and is not represented by a national Olympic committee. South Sudan gained independence last year after breaking away from Sudan. It doesn’t yet have a recognised Olympic body.

Marial moved to the United States as a refugee when he was a child. He qualified for the Olympics by running a marathon in 2 hours, 14 minutes, 32 seconds in 2011. He has improved on that time since.

IOC spokesman Mark Adams said it is the first case of its kind at the Olympics. – The Hindu