Syrian Refugee Yusra Mardini Wins Her First Heat
Featured image credit: Getty/Ker Robertson
Yusra Mardini, one of the 10 refugee Olympians in Rio, won her first heat in the Rio aquatic centre yesterday.
The Syrian-born athlete had already made the headlines before competition had even began with her traumatic escape story from war-torn Syria.
Mardini swam for three hours in the Aegean Sea when the boat she and 20 others were using in a desperate hope to flee Syria filled with water. She and her sister feared for their lives during the Mediterranean to Greece crossing.
The Olympic swimmer stole the show in the venue and won the first heat with the time of 1:09.21.
Others on the Refugee team were seen on the sidelines cheering on the athlete.
RT melissarfleming: UNHCR's RefugeesChief in the stands w/ #TeamRefugees after watching their #YusraMardini swim fo pic.twitter.com/6r5VPXY0y6
- ProDDHH (@Pro_DDHH) August 7, 2016
Mardini continued on in the competition to come 41st overall, which did not qualify her to compete in the semi-finals. Nonetheless, the world was behind the athlete, whose story has gone on to capture the hearts of the world.
The next event that the Refugee Olympic team will be competing in is the men's 100-metre butterfly, where Rami Anis will compete in Heat 2 on August 9, 2016 at 17.15 UTC.
Words: Hamish Kilburn