Opal Tolo named Australian Flag Bearer at 2013 World University Games

Opal Tolo named Australian Flag Bearer at 2013 World University Games

Australian Opals star Marianna Tolo has been named the official flag bearer to lead the Australian team at the opening ceremony of the 2013 World University Games in Kazan, Russia.

The opening ceremony for the 2013 World Uni Games – officially known as the 27th Summer Universiade – will take place tomorrow (6 July, 7:30pm AEST) as more than 13,000 athletes from over 170 countries march into the Kazan Arena Stadium.

As flag bearer, Tolo will lead a delegation of 152 student athletes, competing in 16 different sports, to represent Australia at the games.

Basketball Australia Chief Executive Officer Kristina Keneally said Tolo, who comes off the back of a stellar run during the Opals’ recent tour of China, was a fitting choice to carry the Australian flag and an outstanding ambassador for the team.

“Marianna is widely regarded as one of the Opals’ rising stars, reflecting the team’s core values and showing her professionalism on and off the court,” Ms Keneally said.

“Marianna is a fantastic ambassador for Australia and will no doubt be a stand-out player for the women’s basketball team throughout the competition. I extend my sincere congratulations to her on being named flag bearer at these World University Games.”

Under the stewardship of Coach Phil Brown, the women’s team will be aiming to continue their tradition of success at the World University Games, where they have medalled at each of the past four events (gold – 2007; bronze – 2005, 2009, 2011).

Men’s team Head Coach Andrej Lemanis will also have his troops battle-hardened after their recent victory at the Stankovic Cup – where the team completed a 5-0 whitewash of the tournament, defeating Argentina, China, Puerto Rico, Germany and Nigeria in six days to be the undisputed champions.

This intense preparation will ensure that all 12 members of the team come into the game one ready to fire and get the Australian campaign off to a winning start.

The 2013 World University Games gets underway tomorrow, with the Australian Men’s Team facing a tough first-up test against the Czech Republic on Sunday 7 July at 6:30pm AEST.

On the road to a fifth consecutive medal, the Australian women’s team will have to wait until the early hours of Tuesday morning (2:30pm AEST) to begin their campaign when they face Hungary.

The 2013 World University Games takes place in Kazan, Russia (800kms east of Moscow) from July 6-17.

Click here to see the full men’s and women’s basketball teams.

For all the latest updates and results from the Australian teams be sure to visit the BA website: www.basketball.net.au and the official event website: http://kazan2013.ru/en.