Rio Olympics 2016: Syria refugee Rami Anis relishes 'Olympic' dream

Rami Anis
Anis received rapturous applause after finishing sixth in his 100m freestyle heat

Syrian refugee Rami Anis says earning a standing ovation at Rio 2016 after setting a personal best in the men's 100m freestyle is a "dream come true".

Anis clocked 54.25 seconds to finish 56th out of 59 swimmers in the heats.

The 25-year-old fled war-torn Syria in 2015, travelling by boat across the Mediterranean Sea to Turkey before continuing to Belgium.

"It's a wonderful feeling to compete in the Olympics," he said. "I don't want to wake up from this dream."

Anis, who also came 40th out of 43 in the 100m butterfly with a time of 56.23 seconds, is one of 10 athletes competing as part of a Refugee Olympic Team, including fellow Syrian swimmer Yusra Mardini.

Anis left Syria for Turkey after seeing his home town bombed before travelling on an inflatable dingy to Greece, and eventually reaching Belgium. He was inspired to compete internationally by his uncle, who was also a competitive swimmer.

"I want to shine the spotlight on the plight of refugees," he added.

"I want to show the best possible image of refugees or Syrian people, or anyone who has suffered injustice in the world, and tell them to not lose hope."

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