LIU Jia Austrian flag bearer in Rio, Timo BOLL one of candidates in GermanyPhoto: Courtesy ITTF
The 2005 European Champion in Women`s Singles Event leads Austrian Olympic Team represented by 68 athletes
One star of European table tennis is already elected as a flag bearer for the August 5th opening ceremony of Rio 2016 Olympic Games, but one more could join her in the next five days. LIU Jia is set to lead Austrian Olympic Team during the ceremony, while Timo BOLL is one of five candidates of German Olympic Committee.
LIU Jia approaches to her fifth consecutive Games, reaching each time Round of 32 in the Women`s Singles Event: Sidney 2000, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012. Her best team`s result is the 7th place in Beijing 2008. She won gold medal in Women`s Singles Event of 2005 European Championships in Aarhus.
As LIU Jia, German star will inscribe his fifth Games, after one quarter final (Athens 2004) and three Round of 16 (Sidney 2000, Beijing 2008, London 2012). Regarding Team Events, six times individual European champion has silver from 2008 and bronze from 2012. He has a chance to become first ever table tennis player-flag bearer in German sport.
Election of the flag in Germany was entrusted to the fans who can vote until August 2nd. Beside Timo BOLL, candidates are twice Olympic champion in field hockey, Fürst MORITZ, Olympic champion in eventing (equestrian), Ingrid KLIMKE, the2008 modern pentathlon Olympic champion Lena SANBORN and the team`s gold medalist of the 2012 Games in Cycling Kristina VOGEL.
Four years ago in London the German flag at the opening ceremony was carrying the player in field hockey Natasha KELLER. Basketball super star Dirk NOWITZKI was in that role in Beijing 2008.