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China's flag-bearer will be basketball player: official

07-25-2012 05:45 BJT Special Report:2012 London Olympic Games |

LONDON, July 24 (Xinhua) -- A top Chinese sports official confirmed Tuesday that China's flag-bearer for London Olympic opening ceremony will be a basketball player, ruling out the chances of star hurdler Liu Xiang and 2011 French Open women's singles winner Li Na.

China's flag-bearer Yao Ming carries the national flag as he leads his country's Olympic team during
the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games at the National Stadium, in this Aug 8,
2008 file photo. [Photo/Agencies]

Poll: China's flag-bearer      (Total Votes:Loading)
Who do you think will be China's flag-bearer of 2012 London Olympic?
A. Wang Zhizhi
B. Yi Jianlian
C. Sun Yue
D. Zhu Fangyu
E. Others

"We will continue the tradition (in terms of choosing flag-bearer)," Xiao Tian, deputy chef de mission of the Chinese Olympic delegation, told Xinhua after arriving at London Heathrow Airport.

There has been a lot of guessing about who will carry the Chinese flag in London. Apart from Liu and Li, Dallas Mavericks player Yi Jianlian, Olympic badminton champion Lin Dan and world champion swimmer Sun Yang were also among the candidates.

China's Sun Yang poses with his gold medal and national flag after the men's 1500m freestyle final
at the 14th FINA World Championships in Shanghai, in this July 31, 2011 file photo. [Photo/Agencies]

Xiao's remark indicated that Yi might be the winner.

Yi, 24, started his career as a professional player in south China's Guangdong Province. He joined NBA in 2007 and played for the Washington Wizards before he came back to China amid the NBA lock-out.

China has the tradition of choosing basketball players as flag-bearers for the Olympic Games opening ceremony. Former NBA star Yao Ming was the fag-bear of the Chinese sports delegation at both Beijing 2008 and Athens 2004.

Xiao said earlier that China's flag-bearer should well represent the image of China. "He or she needs to have an impressive record in sports, be tall, handsome and influential."

Liu Xiang of China holds up his flag at the men's 110 meters hurdles final at the IAAF 2011 World
Championships in Daegu, in this Aug 29, 2011 file photo. [Photo/Agencies]

Chinese Olympians have so far all arrived in Britain. Xiao said he has full confidence in Chinese athletes and believes that they will have excellent achievement in London.

China fielded a 396-strong delegation featuring 33 Olympic champions to the July 27-Aug. 12 Games in London. It captured 51 golds, 21 silvers and 28 bronzes in Beijing, relegating the United States to the second place.

Editor:James |Source: Xinhua

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