New Zealand names 2 flag bearers for Tokyo opening ceremony


WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Women’s rugby sevens captain Sarah Hirini and two-time Olympic rowing gold medalist Hamish Bond will carry the New Zealand flag at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Games.

Hirini was a member of the New Zealand team that won a silver medal at the 2016 Rio de Janiero Games, where rugby sevens made its Olympic debut, and has since led the team to a gold medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and to the World Sevens Series title last year.

Bond combined with Eric Murray in the coxless pair which was unbeaten over four years and won gold medals at the London and Rio Olympics.

After the 2016 Games, Bond switched to cycling, winning a bronze medal in the road time trial at the Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast and setting a New Zealand record on the track in the 4,000-meters individual pursuit.

He has returned to rowing as a crew member of the New Zealand eight for Tokyo.

The Olympics are set to open on July 23 under heavy restrictions because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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