[Tokyo Olympics] Zhu and Zhao to carry China’s flag at opening ceremony

Women’s volleyball captain Zhu Ting and taekwondo champion Zhao Shuai will be China’s flag-bearers at the opening ceremony.

It is the first time for delegations to have two flag-bearers after the IOC broke with tradition in March 2020 by allowing national teams to appoint a man and a woman for the role to send a message of gender parity.

Zhu, 26, spearhead of the team that won gold at the Rio Games four years ago, will be China’s first female flag-bearer since the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

Zhao, 26, triumphed in the 58kg category in men’s taekwondo in Rio, becoming China’s first Olympic gold medalist in the sport. He also got the country’s first taekwondo gold medal at the world championship in 2017.

According to tradition, Greece – birthplace of the ancient Olympics – will be the first delegation to march into the stadium during the Parade of Nations.

The marching order is determined by the Japanese “fifty-sounds” phonetic order, and China will be the 111th country to march in.

Hong Kong’s delegation will be led by badminton player Tse Ying-suet and fencer Cheung Ka-long, the assigned flag-bearers.

Tse, 29, is competing in her third Olympics. She will compete in mixed doubles with partner Tang Chun-man. The Asian Games silver medallists open their campaign against China on July 25.

Cheung, 24, is a former world junior fencing champion. He reached the second round in the men’s individual foil competition at Rio 2016.

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