Timo Boll named as Germany′s flagbearer for Rio 2016 | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 04.08.2016
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Timo Boll named as Germany's flagbearer for Rio 2016

Timo Boll is to carry the flag as Germany walk into the stadium at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. The vastly experienced table tennis player was chosen after more than 300,000 votes were cast.

The 35-year-old Boll is competing at his fifth Olympics and was given the honor of carrying the flag ahead of field hockey captain Moritz Fürste, pentathlete Lena Schöneborn, eventing rider Ingrid Klimke and cyclist Kristina Vogel.

Boll follows Natascha Keller, a field hockey gold medalist in Athens 2004 who was the flagbearer in London in 2012, and NBA star Dirk Nowitzki who did so in 2008.

"When I heard last night that I should carry the flag I was speechless," Boll told a press conference in Rio de Janeiro. "It's amazing. This is definitely the high point of my career."

Boll has enjoyed an illustrious career in the sport, winning silver at the Beijing Olympics and bronze in London, four years later. The majority of Boll's success has come in the sport's European Championship, where he won 16 gold medals in the space of a decade. In 2010, he finished second to Sebastian Vettel in the vote for Germany's sportsman of the Year.

A number of famous athletes took to social media to offer their congratulations, including Maria Höfl-Riesch who was the flag bearer at the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

On Wednesday, Wimbledon champion Andy Murray was confirmed as flagbearer for Great Britain, while Michael Phelps has been given the honor for the United States. Pentathlete Yane Marques is to carry the flag for host nation Brazil and Rafael Nadal has been chosen to lead Spain out at the opening ceremony.