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5 South Sudanese refugees running for Rio gold

2016-08-02 10:09
James Chiengjiek (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Five athletes from South Sudan are looking to send a message at the upcoming Olympic games when they compete as part of the Team of Refugee Olympic Athletes in Rio.

James Chiengjiek is one of the 10 athletes competing as refugees after impressing during trials at the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya last year, and says that he is hoping to send a message to displaced people the world over.

"I think it is a good moment for all the refugees, not only people who are participating because as we all know, we are representing the millions of refugees all over the world and it is a chance to show the refugees also that they can do something," 28-year-old Chiengjiek said at a news conference in Rio on Sunday.

Teammate Yiech Pur Biel, also from South Sudan via Kakuma, has been training with former Kenyan Olympian Tegla Loroupe in Nairobi.

Pur Biel is hoping to be able to compete under his home nation's flag in the future.

"We can't be here in Brazil running under the South Sudan flag, and I call upon the other nations to help our country because maybe (by the) 2020 Olympics we can run our national flag of South Sudan because we are eager to set up our young talented South Sudanese."

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