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Sochi, Feb 5 (IANS): Vancouver Winter Games runner-up Tong Jian was selected as the flag bearer for the Chinese delegation at the Sochi Olympics opening ceremony.

Tong took a silver medal in pairs with his long time partner and girlfriend Pang Qing in Vancouver four years ago. The pair also won the 2006 and 2010 world championships, reports Xinhua.

With four-time Olympic short track winner Wang Meng out of the picture due to an injury sustained during a training session three weeks ago, the 34-year-old Tong is the most decorated and experienced athlete in the delegation. He is also the oldest of the 66 Chinese athletes.

“Tong has excellent competition results and has been in this career for many, many years. He is the best choice for the flag bearer,” said deputy chef de mission Xiao Tian at the athletes’ village flag hoisting ceremony Wednesday.

In Vancouver, Turin Olympic freestyle skiing champion Han Xiaopeng carried the flag.

The Sochi Olympics begin Friday.