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1ST LEAD Table tennis player Boll to carry German flag at Rio ceremony By Derek Wilson, dpa

Europe
Von unserem dpa-Korrespondenten und Europe Online   auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Rio de Janeiro (dpa) - Table tennis veteran Timo Boll is to carry the German flag in Friday‘s Olympic Games opening ceremony in Rio de Janeiro, the German Olympic Confederation said Thursday.

Boll, 35, is attending his fifth Games and was a member of the German team which won silver in 2008 and bronze in 2012, and he is a four-time individual European champion.

"When I heard last night that I should carry the flag I was speechless," Boll said.

"It is an amazing feeling and perhaps the high-point of my career."

Boll was named flag bearer ahead of hockey captain Moritz Fuerste, cyclist Kristina Vogel, pentathlete Lena Schoeneborn and eventing rider Ingrid Klimke after winning a vote from the German team and around 300,000 fans. Each part counted for 50 per cent in the election.

"His first thought was: ‘the other would also have deserved it‘," Germany chef de mission Michael Vesper said. "That shows a bit of his attitude. That‘s what impressed us all about Timo Boll."

On Wednesday, high-profile stars Michael Phelps and Andy Murray were named flag bearers for the United States and Britain respectively.

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