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Boxers Kellie Harrington and Brendan Irvine will lead Ireland in the opening ceremony for the Tokyo Olympics, carrying the tricolour
Each country attending the Games has to select a male and a female to carry their nation’s flag during the opening ceremony.
Harrington and Irvine will be joining a list of legends like Sonia O’Sullivan, Niall Griffin and Katie Taylor who have been flag bearers for Ireland.
Boxing is Ireland’s most successful Olympic sport with 16 of Ireland’s 31 medals coming in the competition. Seeing this, it is understandable why Team Ireland chose the boxing team captain, Irvine, and one of lightweight’s top seeded boxers, Harrington, for the task.
This will be Irvine’s second time at an Olympic Games after he competed at Rio 2016. This is Harrington’s first appearance at the Olympics but she stands as one of the best in her weight class.
Speaking about her selection, Harrington said:
“This means so much to me, to be able to represent not only myself as a person, but as a boxer, for boxing, for my family and for Ireland. It’s an amazing honour, there are so many athletes out here, and to be chosen as one of the flag-bearers is absolutely fantastic.
“I can’t believe it really. Walking out there and realising I’m the flag-bearer, it’s the start of the Olympic Games, and I’m at the pinnacle of our sport.”
TEAM IRELAND FLAGBEARERS NAMED
Boxers Brendan Irvine and Kellie Harrington selected to carry the flag for #TeamIreland in the #Tokyo2020 opening ceremony 🇮🇪
In a big move towards gender parity, nations can select a male and female flagbearer!! https://t.co/n0zRof3XIL pic.twitter.com/3sy3fEld1H
— Team Ireland (@TeamIreland) July 20, 2021
Team Ireland is sending 116 athletes to Tokyo this summer, many of them already in the Olympic village.
The first of the Irish athletes to compete will be the rowers on Friday, 23rd July. The opening ceremony will take place later that evening, RTE will begin coverage of the event at 11:30.
The competition will run until Sunday, 8th August and hopefully a few Irish athletes will be bringing home medals too.
Ireland’s first ever Women’s Olympic Hockey team! One for the books! #tokyo2020 #Olympics #teamireland #greenarmy pic.twitter.com/4FphrPmrtL
— Nicci Daly (@NicciDaly22) July 19, 2021