Syrian refugee swimmer trying to qualify for Olympics: 'When you have a problem you don't have to sit around and cry'

A Syrian refugee is hoping to qualify for the Rio Olympics just seven months after fleeing her war-torn country.

Swimmer Yusra Mardini fled the conflict in her home country along with her sister, Sarah, in August 2015 and now resides in Germany.

The 17-year-old - who represented Syria at the short-course World Championships in Turkey in 201 - trekked for several weeks to reach Germany.

Video report by ITV News correspondent Richard Pallot.

Mardini fled Syria to Lebanon and then Turkey and made the life-threatening passage to Lesbos with several members of her family. They crossed several borders before reaching Germany.

She said training in Syria was difficult as sometimes there might be a bomb in the swimming pool and there were gaping holes in the roof from shelling.

Yusra training the pool in Germany Credit: IOC

Mardini is hoping to be a part of the Refugee Olympic Athletes team – which was created by the International Olympic Committee.

Another athlete hoping to take part is Popole Misenga, who fled the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Misenga, who practices judo, told ITV News that competing could turn his life around.

Members of the team must reach specific sporting standards and have official refugee status verified by the United Nations (UN) but will enjoy the same Olympic experience as the other athletes.

Between five and 10 places on the refugee team are likely to be available and Yusra is keen to secure a spot.

Soon after arriving in Germany, Yusra was introduced to Wasserfreunde Spandau 04, a swimming club based near her refugee centre.

She's now aiming for Olympic qualification in a pool which was originally built for the 1936 Olympique Games in Berlin.