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Belfast boxer Paddy Barnes will be Team Ireland’s flag bearer at the Rio Olympics

Irish boxer Paddy Barnes. (Picture: Getty Images)
Irish boxer Paddy Barnes. (Picture: Getty Images)

BELFAST boxer Paddy Barnes has been revealed as the official flag bearer for Team Ireland at the 2016 Olympics in Rio this summer.

The Beijing and London Olympics bronze medallist will lead the Irish athletes into the Maracanã Stadium in the Brazilian city for the opening ceremony on August 5.

Barnes has the chance this year to make Olympic history by becoming the first Irish athlete to win medals in three consecutive Olympic Games, after taking home light-flyweight bronze medals in 2008 and 2012.

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The 29-year-old follows in the footsteps of fellow Irish boxer Katie Taylor, who was Ireland’s flag bearer at the London Olympics four years ago.

Barnes’ achievements also saw him take home gold medals in the 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth Games, while he was awarded an MBE by Queen Elizabeth II in the 2014 New Year’s Honours list.

Olympic Council of Ireland president Pat Hickey said he was “delighted to announce” Barnes as this year’s candidate.

“His commitment to the cause of Irish boxing and Irish sport makes him a role model for aspiring young athletes in Ireland and the natural choice as Ireland’s flag bearer,” he said at an event in Dublin to mark 100 days from yesterday to the start of the Rio Games.

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James Mulhall
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James Mulhall is a reporter with The Irish Post. Follow him on Twitter @JamzMulhall

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