|Edmonton cyclist Tara Whitten, who won a gold and three bronze medals, will carry Canada's flag at the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games closing ceremony on Thursday. (Bob Mackin photo)
NEW DELHI - Cyclist Tara Whitten of Edmonton was named Canada’s flag bearer for Thursday’s closing ceremony of the 19th Commonwealth Games.
The 30-year-old beat the Indian capital’s heat on Wednesday to win the 29 kilometre women’s time trial in 38 minutes, 59.3 seconds. Whitten already had bronze medals on the track in the points race, individual pursuit and team sprint with Calgarian Monique Sullivan.
“Tara came from Melbourne, the World Cycling Championships’ 130 km race, got on a plane in five hours, got to Delhi and really worked with her teammates, and her coaching and support group to produce outstanding performances,” said chef de mission Martha Deacon.
“I’ve watched my teammates succeed and I’ve watched all Team Canada succeed,” Whitten said. “To be chosen to represent them in the closing ceremony is a huge thrill and a great way to end the Games.”
Whitten will be accompanied by “athletes of honour” 72 kilogram freestyle wrestler Ohenawa Akuffo of Brampton, Ont. and 69 kg weightlifter Christine Girard of White Rock, B.C. Both won gold in their disciplines.
“They picked a weightlifter and wrestler for extra security, they’ve been doing an amazing job in india for security,” Akuffo said. “Now she’s going to have the best. If anybody’s going to mess with her, good luck.”
Women’s wrestling debuted at Delhi 2010. Girard, a Rouyn-Noranda, Que. native, lifted a record 105 kilograms in the snatch and 130 kg in the clean and jerk for a total 235 kg. She also has bronze from Manchester 2002 and silver from Melbourne 2006 and was fourth at the Beijing 2008 Olympics.