(Adds quotes, details)
MADRID, June 20 Olympic tennis champion Rafael
Nadal said he was honoured on Wednesday to be asked to carry the
Spanish flag at the London Olympics opening ceremony in what he
believes will be one of the most emotional moments of his
The world number two, who recently won a record seventh
French open title, his 11th Grand Slam victory overall, was the
unanimous choice of the Spanish Olympic Committee (COE).
"To carry the Spain flag representing all the Spanish
Olympic competitors in London is a true honour," the 26-year-old
said in a statement.
"All I can do is thank all the heads of the Olympic
federations who have given me this opportunity.
"To carry this flag will be one of the most emotional
moments I am going to have in my whole career and I believe it
is a recognition for what I have achieved over the years.
"All I can do is say thank you and wish all the athletes the
COE president Alejandro Blanco praised the decision.
"They didn't only consider sporting achievements, but also
the current standing of the individuals, and their relevance at
a national and international level," Blanco said."It had to be
Nadal will succeed former Olympic canoeing champion David
Cal who led the Spanish contingent in Beijing.
The Mallorca native will be attending his third Olympics
after competing in the doubles in Athens in 2004, and winning
the singles in Beijing four years ago.
World number one Novak Djokovic will carry Serbia's flag at
the opening ceremony on July 27.
(Reporting by Mark Elkington, editing by Alison Wildey)