Fencer Alaa Abouelkassem and Taekwondo fighter Hedaya Malak were chosen on Monday by the Egyptian Olympic Committee (EOC) to be flagbearers for the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympic Games set for Friday.
“We wanted to send several messages through this choice and to motivate all our female and male athletes to achieve success and they will be honoured including carrying the country’s flag and leading the delegation. That’s why we chose two olympic champions,” Head of EOC Hesham Hattab was quoted as saying on the EOC official Facebook page.
Malak won the bronze medal in Rio 2016 and is tipped for another success in Tokyo.
Fencer Abouelkassem is the captain of the men’s foil team and won a silver medal during the London 2012 Games.
This would be the first time two athletes will carry the Egyptian flag in an opening ceremony. They will succeed handball player Ahmad El Ahmar, who carried the flag five years ago in Rio.
The Egyptian delegation to Tokyo will be its largest ever, consisting of 134 athletes in 27 sports.
According to previous statements by Hattab, Egypt aims for five or six medals at Tokyo.
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