Proud Murray working on flag-bearing technique

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Andy Murray says carrying the British flag at Friday’s Olympic opening ceremony will be his proudest day but admits his technique needs some work.

The defending men’s singles champion made a mess of a photocall on Wednesday when he covered British Olympic Association (BOA) president Princess Anne’s face with the flag.

If the meticulous preparation he puts into his matches is anything to go by, however, Murray will get it right on the night in the iconic Maracana Stadium.

“I’m going to blame the photographers for what happened last night because I was getting directions,” Murray told reporters at Rio’s Olympic Park on Thursday.

“I didn’t really know what to do. The flag is huge and wherever I put it, it was covering someone’s face.

“Last night didn’t go so well but I could see the funny side of it. I will try to get a bit of practice in.”

Asked if his blunder had prompted a rebuke from the royal, the 29-year-old Scot said: “I think she said something like make sure you don’t poke my eye out, or something along those lines because there is a big point at the top of it”.

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Murray was speechless on Tuesday night after being summoned from his bed to be told by BOA chef de mission Mark England he had been selected for the honour.

“It was pretty emotional. I felt very proud and humbled and said ‘yeah it would be a big honour’ and I kept repeating myself because I wasn’t expecting it,” said the world number two who faces Serb Viktor Troicki on Sunday.

England told Murray his “perseverence and spirit” were factors in the selection, qualities that have earned him three grand slam titles.

His first came weeks after winning the 2012 Olympics when he beat Novak Djokovic to claim the U.S. Open and a year later he overcame the Serb again to become the first British male for 77 years to land the Wimbledon crown.

Last month he won a second Wimbledon championship while at the end of 2015 Murray led Britain to a first Davis Cup title since 1936.

Fellow Scot Hoy will watch how he performs on Friday.

The cycling great, who carried the flag at London 2012, told Murray on Twitter “don’t forget it has to be single arm and no holster”.

The Wimbledon champion joked: “Not sure I’m as strong as him but I will give it a go”.

Editing by Tony Jimenez