July 5, 2016 / 10:42 PM / 2 years ago

Cyclist Meares to carry Australian flag in Rio

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Double Olympic champion cyclist Anna Meares will carry Australia’s flag in the opening ceremony at the Rio de Janeiro Games next month.

Australian track cyclist and Olympic gold medalist, Anna Meares, stands in front of two men dressed as Coldstream Guards at a media event in Sydney in this file photo dated July 27, 2011. REUTERS/Tim Wimborne

The 32-year-old will defend her track sprint title at her fourth Olympics and also compete in the keirin and team sprint events.

“I’m incredibly proud, I’m incredibly humbled,” she said at a ceremony in Melbourne’s Fed Square on Wednesday. “I don’t think it changes anything that I’m going to do (at Rio).”

Meares, one of Australia’s greatest Olympic cyclists, won a time trial gold in her Games debut in Athens in 2004 and a silver in the individual sprint in Beijing four years later.

In an interview with Reuters on Tuesday, the 11-times world champion said she relished the chance to battle against a new generation of riders and expected to be in peak fitness when she rolls into the Rio velodrome next month.

Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Tony Jimenez

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