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Tokyo 2020: Simmonds and Stubbs to carry GB flag

Ellie Simmonds and John Stubbs
Ellie Simmonds and John Stubbs Image credit: bbc.co.uk

Athletes Ellie Simmonds and John Stubbs have been announced to carry the flag for ParalympicsGB at Tuesday’s opening ceremony in Tokyo.

Swimmer Simmonds, 26, is the first woman to be given the honour at a summer games since Maggie McEkleny proudly held the flag in 2000 when the event was took place in Sydney.

Archer Stubbs is the oldest athlete of the GB Team and the first archer in recent history to carry the flag.

Simmonds, who made her Olympic debut at Beijing 2008, told BBC Sport: "I'm hugely honoured to carry the flag on behalf of all the athletes, support staff and for the entire nation back home.

"To go the Paralympic Games and be given the opportunity to do that is just amazing.

"This will be my first opening ceremony. Just to be here in Tokyo is amazing but to carry the flag is the icing on the cake and I can't wait for the competition to start."

Stubbs, who won silver in the mixed team compound at Rio 2016, said: "It's an absolute honour to be representing ParalympicsGB as flag bearer alongside Ellie.

"For any elite athlete to go to the Games and be bestowed this honour is a privilege. Words can't describe what it means to me.

"It's been a torrid year - unfortunately I lost my Dad in January. He was my biggest fan, and hopefully if he's looking down on me, he's there saying, 'do it for the Stubbs family John, you've earned it and you deserve it'. I know my family will be as proud as punch."

Team GB’s chef de mission Penny Briscoe said: "Both Ellie and John exemplify what it means to be a ParalympicsGB athlete. Their excellence on the field of play as well as their integrity, leadership and commitment to the team is something very special.

"I have no doubt that by their example they will inspire the whole of the team to achieve great things over the coming 12 days of competition."

ABLE2UK will be providing daily coverage from the Tokyo Paralympics online and our social media platforms on Twitter and Facebook.