Bond and Hirini chosen as New Zealand flag bearers

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New Zealand rugby sevens captain Sarah Hirini and rower Hamish Bond have been chosen as New Zealand’s flag bearers for the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics.

The New Zealand Olympic Committee confirmed the pair as joint flagbearers late last week.

A change in Games rules meant countries will have a male and female athlete jointly carrying their countries flag.

Hirini has an impressive background. She was part of the team which claimed a silver medal at the 2016 Rio Games, she has a Commonwealth games gold medal and two world titles to her name.

Two-time Olympic champion Bond is 35 years old and is off to his forth Olympics. He was proud to carry the flag alongside Hirini.

The Tokyo Games are set to run from July 23 to August 8.

New Zealand’s Olympic Team Leader is Rob Waddell. He is known as the Chef de Mission and he said the pair were chosen as they exemplify the values and culture of the New Zealand Team.

The flagbearer is chosen by the New Zealand Olympic Team taking into account a wide range of factors, including past performances, ability to lead and inspire New Zealand athletes, competition preparation and performance standards.

Sir Peter Snell was the New Zealand team flagbearer the last time New Zealand competed at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, in 1964.

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