Thursday, 22 July 2021 16:00

Staff Reporter.

SASCOC has announced that Olympic swimmer Chad le Clos and national women's hockey goalkeeper Phumelela Mbande have been named as the two flagbearers for Team SA at the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics on Friday night.

The ceremony will officially launch the global sporting showpiece. 

In a positive break from tradition, the IOC confirmed in March 2020 that each National Olympic Committee could nominate one female and one male athlete as flagbearers.

The president of SASCOC, Mr Barry Hendricks, who arrived in Tokyo ahead of Friday's opening ceremony, offered his congratulations to Le Clos and Mbande. "In previous Games there was one flag bearer for a country at the Opening Ceremony, and one at the Closing Ceremony. In a welcomed change, the IOC adopted a resolution that each National Olympic Committee could nominate one female and one male athlete as flagbearers.

"As always, it was incredibly difficult to arrive at the decision as to who to carry the flag in the Opening Ceremony. 

"Both Chad and Phumelela are role models and inspirations for their respective sports and we're proud to have them carrying the flag for our wonderful nation," Mr Hendricks added.

This will be the first time that both Chad and Phumelela carry the South African flag to lead out Team SA. Both showcase the Team SA and the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect and are fully deserving of the honour.