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Yusra Mardini slept in fear of Hungarian border police on train station floors on her first visit to Budapest when she fled her native Syria two years ago.Sunday, Mardini competed in the women's 100-meter butterfly heats, clocking 1:07.99, some 12 seconds behind top qualifier and world record holder Sarah Sjostrom.Mardini competed in Rio de Janeiro under the Olympic flag for a team of refugees, and again she's competing as an independent in Budapest as the fighting still rages in her native country. The Damascus native was among Syria's brightest swimming prospects, competing for the country in both the 200-meter and 400-meter freestyle at the 2012 worlds in Istanbul.Her family moved around to avoid the fighting, but eventually the decision was taken to leave Syria altogether as the war intensified with no end in sight. Mardini and her older sister left Syria in early August 2015, joining the wave of refugees who had lost hope of the conflict ending.Mardini still has family in Syria from whom she receives regular updates.
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