guor_marial_web.jpgLONDON (AP) — The International Olympic committee (IOC) is allowing a marathon runner born in what is now South Sudan to compete under the Olympic flag at the London Games.

The IOC executive board agreed Saturday to allow U.S.-based Guor Marial to take part as an independent athlete.

The IOC said Marial has no passport and is not represented by a national Olympic committee. South Sudan gained independence last year after breaking away from Sudan. It doesn't yet have a recognized Olympic body.

Marial moved to the United States as a refugee when he was a child. He qualified for the Olympics by running a marathon in 2 hours, 14 minutes, 32 seconds in 2011. He has improved on that time since.

IOC spokesman Mark Adams says it is the first case of its kind at the Olympics.

Photo: Guor Marial