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Syrian refugee Yusra Mardini, who risked drowning at sea while fleeing her war-torn country four years ago, heaved a deep sigh after failing to set a personal best at the world swimming championships Sunday. Representing international federation FINA's independent athletes team, the 21-year-old looked up at the giant scoreboard and winced at her time of 1 minute, 8.79 seconds in the 100 butterfly heats in South Korea. Mardini's time was more than 12 seconds slower than that of reigning champion Sarah Sjostrom and 47th overall.Mardini famously competed at the Rio Olympics a year later under the refugee flag.Fellow Syrian Ayman Kelzieh was also forced to flee the country before competing at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon.
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