Olympics: Natalya Coyle to carry Irish flag at closing ceremony

olympics
Olympics: Natalya Coyle To Carry Irish Flag At Closing Ceremony Olympics: Natalya Coyle To Carry Irish Flag At Closing Ceremony
Modern pentathlete Natalya Coyle has been named as the Irish flag bearer for the closing ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics.
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James Cox

Modern pentathlete Natalya Coyle has been named as the Irish flag bearer for the closing ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics.

The Olympic Council of Ireland said: “The three-time Olympian was selected to close out what has been a successful Games for Team Ireland, with four medals already guaranteed going into the last 24 hours of competition.”

Coyle suffered heartbreak in the modern pentathlon event as her medal chances were scuppered by an uncooperative horse.

Her mount Constantin refused to jump multiple times in what proved to be a costly show-jumping event, following the freestyle swimming and fencing legs of the event.

It saw Coyle drop from fourth place to 19th overall with only the combined shooting and running in the laser run left to go, before she finished the total event in 24th place.

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2020 Tokyo Olympic Games Friday - Modern Pentathlon, Tokyo Stadium, Tokyo, Japan 6/8/2021 Ireland’s Natalya Coyle on a horse refusing to jump ©INPHO/Bryan Keane
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After being chosen as the Irish flag bearer, Coyle told RTÉ Sport: “I'm still a bit shocked by it all and overwhelmed by it all. It’s an incredible honour to be able to walk the team out to the Closing Ceremony and to carry the flag.

“It is really going to cap a good end to my Games, which is something that I’m delighted about. I think it’s going to be pretty overwhelming; it’s going to be amazing, and I’m really looking forward to it now. I just can’t put into words, to be nominated and to accept it, it’s a highlight for me.

“The Japanese [people] have been incredible from the start. When we had our holding camp in Fukuroi, it was amazing, and they were incredible there and they're even better here.

“To host the Games, I don't think Japan has got enough credit and enough thanks. We’ve been training for this for years and even though it mightn’t have gone as well for me as I’d hoped, it has gone well for other people and just to be able to host the Games, the Japanese need a big round of applause for that.”

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