Two former Egyptian Olympic medalists, Taekwondo fighter Hedaya Malak and Fencer Alaa Abouelkassem, were chosen by the Egyptian Olympic Committee (EOC) to carry the Egyptian flag at Friday’s opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Hedaya will become the first Egyptian woman to carry the country’s flag at the Olympics.
This edition also marks the first time two athletes carry Egypt’s flag, with the country’s delegation being the largest in its history. The delegation will include 134 athletes in 27 sports.
“We chose two olympic champions because we aim to send several messages through our choice. We wanted to motivate all our female and male athletes to succeed, and show them that they will be honoured and celebrated by carrying the country’s flag and leading the delegation,” said Hesham Hattab, Head of EOC on the committee’s official Facebook page.
Hedaya won bronze at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, and Alaa won silver at the London Olympic Games in 2012. This gave both of them the qualifications needed to lead the delegation, according to EOC. “These athletes are worthy to lead the rest of the athletes towards repeating the achievements in Tokyo,” concluded Hattab.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympics will run from July 23 to August 11.
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