Sharapova confirmed as Russia's flag-bearer

MOSCOW Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:04pm IST

Maria Sharapova of Russia serves to Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria during their women's singles tennis match at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London June 28, 2012. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

Maria Sharapova of Russia serves to Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria during their women's singles tennis match at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London June 28, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Stefan Wermuth

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Former tennis world number one Maria Sharapova will be Russia's first female Olympic flag-bearer at the London Games later this month, the national Olympic committee confirmed on Tuesday.

"Sharapova will carry our flag," president of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) Alexander Zhukov told reporters following the ROC's executive board meeting.

"She was the most worthy candidate among all our athletes. In June she claimed her fourth grand slam title (French Open)."

Russia broke with tradition by naming Sharapova, who also won Wimbledon (2004), U.S. Open (2006) and Australian Open (2008) titles, for the rare honour.

Since the Russians first took part in the 1952 Summer Games in Helsinki as part of the Soviet Union this great honour was traditionally given to famous male athletes such as Greco-Roman wrestler Alexander Karelin and swimmer Alexander Popov, who have won numerous Olympic titles.

"I am so honored, and especially excited as it will be my first Olympics in my career," the Florida-based Russian said on her official website (www.mariasharapova.com) when she first heard the news about her nomination last month.

"I have had to keep this hush hush for two weeks and keeping secrets is not my best quality!"

The 25-year-old will be making her Olympic debut in London after failing to qualify for the 2004 Games in Athens and missing the 2008 edition in Beijing with a shoulder injury. (Reporting By Gennady Fyodorov; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Wuhan Open

Wuhan Open

Ill Williams follows seeds out of Wuhan Open.  Full Article 

Light Speech

Light Speech

No hair-dryer treatment as 'fun-Fergie' addresses Ryder Cup team.  Full Article 

Not Fit Enough

Not Fit Enough

Four fall foul of Pakistan's new fitness crackdown.  Full Article 

Confident Westwood

Confident Westwood

European team as strong as it's ever been, says Westwood  Full Article 

Money Matters

Money Matters

United need massive investment on new players, says Neville.  Full Article 

Misfired Stroke

Misfired Stroke

Murray disappointed over Scottish independence Twitter row   Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage