BOSTON (AP) — A Sudanese refugee who grew up in New Hampshire  and has been granted special permission to compete in the Olympics as an independent athlete says he’s ecstatic that “South Sudan has finally got a spot in the world community.”

The International Olympic Committee agreed Saturday to allow 28-year-old Guor Marial to compete under the Olympic flag at the London Games.

Marial qualified for the Olympics last year, but he couldn’t compete for the U.S. because he’s a permanent resident and not yet a citizen.

He says he was getting ready to go for a run in Flagstaff, Ariz., when he was informed of the IOC’s decision. He says he has to “train like an Olympian now.”

Marial attended high school in Concord, N.H., after fleeing war-torn Sudan. He earned an athletic scholarship to Iowa State University.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press


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