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Ainslie selected to carry British flag at closing ceremony

London, England (Sports Network) - Sailor Ben Ainslie has been selected to carry Great Britain's flag at the closing ceremony following a hometown performance that saw him earn a gold medal for the fourth straight Olympics.

Ainslie's gold medal in the Finn class also marked the fifth straight games in which he has won a medal, making him the most accomplished sailor in Olympic history.

Combined with the silver he won as a 19-year-old at the 1996 Atlanta Games, Ainslie surpassed Paul Elvstrom's string of four straight Olympics with a medal, a run by the Dane that included four golds from 1948-1960.

"It's a really proud moment for me and for sailing to have such an involvement at the end of what's been such an amazing Games for the whole country," said Ainslie.

The 35-year-old took silver in the Laser class in 1996 and followed that up four years later with his first gold in the event. Ainslie then grabbed the first of three straight golds in the Finn class at the 2004 Athens Games.

His five medals match Torben Grael for the most by any sailor at the Summer Olympics. The Brazilian notched two golds, a silver and a pair of bronzes in his career.

"Ben Ainslie is the perfect choice for Team GB's flag bearer for the closing ceremony. He has been at the heart of Great Britain's Olympic endeavors since 1996 and his achievements are already legendary," said team leader Andy Hunt.

"As we pass the Olympic baton to Rio, we as a team are privileged to have Ben lead the way."

The closing ceremony is scheduled to take place on Sunday evening London time.

08/11 10:37:12 ET


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