Sharapova pencilled in as Olympic flag-bearer

Russia’s tennis federation chief Shamil Tarpishchev, who is also a member of Russia’s National Olympic Committee, earlier said that Sharapova had already been pencilled in as the flag-bearer.

Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Tuesday: ”Maria is an outstanding athlete but currently she’s just a candidate for the role of the country’s flag-bearer.”

The minister added that the flag-bearer would be officially named after the NOC executive committee meeting on July 10-11.

Tarpishchev had said: ”We reached an agreement about it just after the French Open final.

”As far as I know Roger Federer will be Switzerland’s flag-bearer and Rafael Nadal will be Spain’s. It’s very pleasant that the popularity of tennis is growing around the word.”

Sharapova won the French Open title on Saturday with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Italy’s Sara Errani to seal a rare career Grand Slam – winning the four biggest tournaments in the sport.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev both sent congratulatory telegrams to the Florida-based tennis star while the country’s tennis chiefs expressed hope that she would now go for gold at the London Games.

Russian tennis fans have always been unstinting in their support of Sharapova, known affectionately by her short name ”Masha”, even though she is resident in the US and only rarely comes home.

Sharapova has also made clear her loyalty to her home nation, competing in the Fed Cup and almost always wearing a necklace with the cross of the Russian Orthodox Church when she plays. – AFP



Keep the powerful accountable

Subscribe for R30/mth for the first three months. Cancel anytime.

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.

Sapa Author
Guest Author

Related stories


Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Latest stories

What’s in store for SA as the ANC implodes?

As the increasingly less relevant ANC vacates the middle ground and the centre-left, a void opens, which will urgently need to be filled

Following the wildlife traffickers’ money

The illegal wildlife trade is one of the most profitable criminal enterprises worldwide, but only recently has the focus shifted to investigating its financial flows

Story of a whistleblower: ‘Baba, do you think you are...

Whistleblower Thabiso Zulu can’t explain his situation to his son, but continues to expose wrongdoing and show solidarity with others

Cele, Sitole beef continues at hearings into July’s unrest

The minister again accused the commissioner of being missing in action when the violence raged in KwaZulu-Natal

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…