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Spain, Italy name Opening Ceremony flag bearers

Rafael Nadal

BEIJING - AUGUST 15: Rafael Nadal of Spain serves to Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the men’s semifinal tennis match at the Olympic Green Tennis Center on Day 7 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 15, 2008 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

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Rafael Nadal will carry Spain’s flag into the Opening Ceremony, four years after he missed the opportunity because he was “not in condition” to compete at the London Games.

Swimmer Federica Pellegrini will be Italy’s flag bearer on her 28th birthday.

The Spanish and Italian Olympic Committees made announcements Wednesday, 100 days out from the Aug. 5 Opening Ceremony.

Spain’s announcement confirmed the body’s president’s wishes expressed in February.

Nadal, the 2008 Olympic singles champion and a 14-time Grand Slam singles champion, was named Spain’s flag bearer for the London 2012 Opening Ceremony one month before those Games.

But Nadal withdrew from the 2012 Olympics one week before the Opening Ceremony for health reasons while dealing with a knee injury.

Rio Olympic tennis will be played on hard courts rather than Nadal’s preferred clay surface.

Pellergrini won the 2008 Olympic 200m freestyle title and is the world-record holder in the event.

MORE: Nadal, countryman talk Olympic doubles

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