Tucker backs Meares for task
CENTRAL Queensland's own sports star, Anna Meares, should be chosen to carry the Australian flag because of her ability, not her gender, Ken Tucker said yesterday.
The Olympic cyclist has been named a likely contender for the flag-bearer role at the London Olympics opening ceremony on Friday night.
However Mr Tucker, who was Meares' first coach in Rockhampton, said he was infuriated with recent calls for this year's flagbearer to be a woman after 20 years of male dominance.
The last woman given the honour was diver Jenny Donnet in Barcelona in 1992.
"Gender should never be mentioned," Mr Tucker said.
"(Anna's) performance record, on and off the track, should be enough to get her there."
Other top picks for the job are Liesel Jones, Natalie Cook, Sally Pearson, Stuart O'Grady and Drew Ginn.
Mr Tucker said he would be "very very proud" of Meares if she were selected.
"She's the complete package," he said. "I might sound biased but that's the truth.
"I think it'd be great."
Australia's chef de mission, the former Oarsome Foursome rowing gold medallist Nick Green, will announce his decision at the team's official reception on Thursday.
Mr Tucker's words of wisdom to Meares were, "Remember Anna, attention to detail".
He said he would be watching every second of the Games.