Madrid: Spanish basketball player Pau Gasol has been chosen to replace Rafa Nadal as the country's flag bearer at the opening ceremony for the London Games, the country's Olympic federation said on Friday.
Nadal, the gold medal holder in the men's singles from Beijing, was forced to pull out of the Games on Thursday after failing to recover from a knee problem.
Los Angeles Lakers centre Gasol is one of the country's most recognised sportsmen and helped Spain win silver in Beijing four years ago, when they lost in the final to the United States. Video Photo Gallery
Nadal was forced to pull out of the Games on Thursday after failing to recover from a knee problem. Getty Images
Sailing duo Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez had been in the running as well but they ruled themselves out so not to upset preparations for the July 27-August 12 Games.