South Sudan at the Olympics

The newest country in the world and ravaged by war and poverty, South Sudan made its first ever appearance at the 2016 Olympic Games that was staged in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. South Sudan declared their independence from Sudan on July 9th, 2011. Previous to this time athletes from this region would have represented Sudan at the Olympic Games. The Republic of South Sudan were not able to create a National Olympic Committee before London 2012, and so were unable to send an official team.

However, one athlete competed in London, distance runner Guor Marial, a South Sudanese refugee who lives and trains in the United States. He competed as an Independent Athlete in the marathon. He was not the only South Sudanese athlete at the Olympics - 5000m runner Lopez Lomong ran for the USA, and Chicago Bulls player Luol Deng captained the British basketball team.

South Sudan forayed into the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro for the first time and sent three athletes to compete in the track and field competition. The three athletes were Santino Kenyi (men's 1,500 meters run), Guor Marial (men's marathon) and Margret Rumat Hassan Margret Rumat Hassan (women's 200 meters run). However, the three athletes fell short in advancing into the next round.

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