Disbelief as Aussie Olympics legend picked in record eighth Games

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Pictured here, equestrian Andrew Hoy competing for Australia at the Olympic Games.
Equestrian Andrew Hoy will compete in a record-extending eighth Olympic Games for Australia in Tokyo. Pic: AAP

Australian sports fans have taken to social media to hail equestrian stalwart Andrew Hoy after the 62-year-old was selected for a record-extending eighth Olympic Games.

Hoy was Australia's flag bearer for the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996 and few. Could have predicted that he would still be representing his country on the biggest stage 25 years later.

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The three-time Olympic Games gold medallist says riding at his eighth Olympic Games is the greatest honour in his life.

No other Australian had been to seven Games before but Hoy will extend his record for most Olympics appearances by an Australian next month in Tokyo.

Equestrian compatriot Mary Hanna will contest her sixth Olympics at the age of 66 - she will be Australia's oldest Olympic athlete.

The pair are among a six-strong Australian equestrian team announced on Friday also featuring Chris Burton, Shane Rose and Olympic debutants Simone Pearce and Kelly Layne.

Hoy, Burton and Rose are on Australia's eventing team with Hanna, Pearce and Layne to contest dressage.

Hoy is seeking to add to his Olympic medal collection of three golds and one silver.

Pictured here, Australia's gold medal winners Andrew Hoy, Phillip Dutton, Matt Ryan and Stuart Tinney at the Sydney 2000 Games.
Andrew Hoy (far left) was part of the Australian team that won Olympic gold in the three-day teams event at the Sydney 2000 Games. Pic: Getty

Hoy to ride deeper into the record books  

"To represent Australia at international level over so many years has been the greatest privilege and honour of my life," Hoy said.

""I have never set out to break records on my number of Olympic Games participations.

"I am just a country boy from Culcairn who loves his horses, has a huge passion for our sport and thrives on being competitive."

Hanna, a grandmother of three with a fourth due before the Games start on July 23, said she was "absolutely thrilled" to earn selection.

"It has been a truly testing time for all with so many challenges ... a bit like walking a tightrope to get this far," she said.

But it was news of Hoy's selection for the Australian team that has been met with awe and disbelief on social media.

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with AAP

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