JOHANNESBURG: Caster Semenya will carry South Africa's flag at the opening ceremony of the London Olympics.
Semenya was given the honour yesterday ahead of double-amputee runner Oscar Pistorius.
"It's such a privilege for me to do such a big thing like that," Semenya said in an audio message. "To carry the flag for the team, it's such a big thing."
Swimmer Cameron van der Burgh and long jumper Khotso Mokoena also were considered for the role, the country's Olympic committee said, but Semenya was the "ideal choice."
The 21-year-old Semenya will carry the flag at next Friday's opening ceremony in her first Olympics, three years after she was embroiled in a gender-test controversy that threatened her career and sidelined her from competition for nearly a year.
Semenya accepted the honor in a recorded message played at the announcement of the team's flag bearer in Johannesburg, which also was a farewell function for the team.
The former 800-meter world champion and last year's world silver medallist did not attend the gathering. She was in Monaco ahead of tomorrow's Diamond League meet, where she will complete her final preparations for her Olympic debut at the London Games.