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2ND LEAD Germany, Sweden choose veterans Boll, Alshammar to carry flags in Rio By Derek Wilson and Lennart Simonsson, 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, while seasoned swimmer Therese Alshammar will fly Sweden‘s colours, the Olympic teams of both countries said.

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."

"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."

Alshammar is competing in her sixth Olympic Games in Rio, a record for a female swimmer.

The 38-year-old who made her Olympic debut in 1996 at the Atlanta Games has three Olympic medals from the 2000 Sydney Games where she collected silver medals in the 50m and 100m freestyle events and a bronze with the Swedish 4x100m relay team.

She has also won scores of world and European medals.

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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