July 5, 2016 / 10:42 PM / 3 years ago

Cyclist Meares to carry Australian flag in Rio

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

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.

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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