Who are Team GB flagbearers Hannah Mills and Mohamed Sbihi at Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony?

Welsh Olympic champion Hannah Mills becomes the first woman sailor to be the flag bearer for Team GB at an Olympics.

Mills and Mohamed Sbihi will make history as Great Britain’s first joint flagbearers at the opening ceremony in Tokyo.

Sbihi follows fellow rowers Sir Matthew Pinsent, Sir Steve Redgrave and Jack Beresford in leading out the team.

Mills, 33, will go in search of a third Olympic medal this summer, and second gold in the 470 class.

The Dinas Powys sailor first teamed up with 470 partner Saskia Clark in February 2011 and the pair saw immediate success on the water as a silver medal at the 2011 World Championships was followed by gold at the same event the following year.

At London 2012, Mills and Clark took silver after losing out to Kiwi pair Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie in the medal race, winning one of five sailing medals collected by Team GB at the Games.

Four years later at Rio 2016, the duo went one better and became Olympic gold medal champions to end the hugely successful partnership on a high.

Clark retired after the Games, but Mills went on to claim silver at the 2017 470 World Championships with Eilidh McIntyre.

Mills has been constantly challenging for global success, with bronze in the same event in 2018, before scooping top prize in Enoshima in 2019 and being selected to compete at a third Games for Team GB in Tokyo.

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“To be asked to carry the flag for Team GB at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games is not a sentence I ever thought I’d say,” said Mills, who will compete with new partner Eilidh McIntyre in the women’s 470 class.

“It’s completely overwhelming and when I had a moment to think about what it meant I got pretty emotional.

“It is the greatest honour in my career and I hope more than ever before that this Games can lift our country and deliver some incredible sporting moments to inspire the nation.”

Sbihi, who won bronze in the men’s eight at London 2012 and gold in the four in Rio, also spoke of his pride at being recognised by a panel of sports representatives, chaired by Team GB chef de mission Mark England.

“I certainly remember the images of Andy Murray from Rio and even before I was a rower I remember seeing Sir Matt and Sir Steve, so it is something I am incredibly proud of.

“It is going to be a surreal experience actually going to an opening ceremony but this year with the racing schedule it is actually manageable even if I wasn’t a flagbearer.

“It will be really special and will complete my Olympic puzzle. I’ve won a medal, been to the closing ceremony but now to actually turn up at an opening ceremony and be at the head of the team alongside Hannah it will be a lifetime memory that I will never forget.”

It is expected less than ten percent of the 376-strong British team will take part in the ceremony, which has been mired in controversy in recent days.

First, musical contributor Keigo Oyamada was forced to resign – just two days before the event – after admitting to bullying a disabled child.

And today ceremony director Kentaro Kobayashi was axed after a video surfaced of him making anti-Semitic comments during a stand-up comedy routine.

They follow creative director Hiroshi Sasaki out the door, who resigned in March after making inappropriate comments about the weight of a Japanese celebrity, suggesting he was going to dress her as the ‘Olympig’ as part of the show.


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