Le Clos, Mbande named flagbearers for SA

Pair are inspirational, says Sascoc boss

Chad le Clos in action in the Men 100 Meter Butterfly event during day 5 of the 2021 SA Senior Swimming Championship at Newton Park on April 11, 2021 in Port Elizabeth.
Chad le Clos in action in the Men 100 Meter Butterfly event during day 5 of the 2021 SA Senior Swimming Championship at Newton Park on April 11, 2021 in Port Elizabeth.
Image: Anton Geyser

SA swimming sensation Chad le Clos and the goalkeeper of the SA women's hockey team, Phumelela Mbande, will fly the national flag at the Olympic Games opening ceremony in Tokyo, Japan.

Le Clos and Mbande will lead SA at the opening ceremony at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo today at 1pm, SA time.

The SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) announced the two flag bearers yesterday.

It would be the first time that two participants, a male and female, carry their national flags for their countries at the opening ceremony, after the recommendation by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Sascoc president Barry Hendricks said his organisation welcomed IOC recommendation with enthusiasm.

Le Clos, 29, has won four Olympic Games medals to date, and he has the potential to add to his medal tally in Tokyo. He's leading out his country for the first at the opening ceremony.

Mbande, 28, made her debut for the SA national team in 2013, and the honour of flying the flag for her country at the Olympic Games will rank as the highest achievement for the chartered accountant in her hockey career.

Hendricks, who arrived in Tokyo earlier in the week, congratulated the pair and wished them well in their biggest moment in their sporting careers.

“It was difficult to decide who will carry the flag in the Opening Ceremony. Both Chad and Phumelela are role models and inspirations for their respective sports, and we are proud to have them carrying the flag for our wonderful nation," he said through the Sascoc media platform.

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