July 31, 2021

Clarisse Agbegnenou and Samir Ait-Saïd flag bearers of the French delegation at the Tokyo Olympic Games

We now know those who will have the honor of carrying the tricolor of the French delegation during the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Tokyo (23 July-8 August). For the first time, it will be a mixed duo, formed by Clarisse Agbegnenou (judo) and Samir Ait-Saïd (gymnastics). They succeed Teddy Riner, head of the show in 2016 in Rio.

The news was announced live during the 8 pm newscast of France 2. Agbegnenou and Ait-Saïd were nominated by several French athletes after a vote held this weekend. Each federation represented at the Games appointed two ambassadors, who were invited to choose those who will lead the French delegation on July 23 to the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo. They had to rank three athletes in preferential order.

Samir Ait-Saïd, bronze medalist on the rings at the 2019 Sttutgart World Championships (J. Prévost / L’Équipe)

Twelve candidates were in the running to carry the French flag, seven women – Clarisse Agbegnenou (judo), Johanne Defay (surf), Sandrine Gruda (basketball), Maïva Hamadouche (boxing), Kristina Mladenovic (tennis), Mélina Robert-Michon (athletics) ) and Charline Picon (windsurfing) – and five men – Samir Ait-Saïd (gymnastics), Maxime Beaumont (canoe-kayak), Renaud Lavillenie (athletics), Florent Manaudou (swimming) and Astier Nicolas (horse riding). But the rider had to give up the Olympics last Thursday because of the injury to his horse Babylon de Gamma.

Sandrine Martinet and Stéphane Houdet flag bearers for the Paralympic Games

Regarding the Paralympic Games, which will be held in the wake of the Olympic Games (August 24-September 5), Sandrine Martinet (judo) and Stéphane Houdet (tennis) have been designated as flag bearers for France after a vote taken on the Internet and closed June 30. Perle Bouge (rowing), Nantenin Keïta (athletics), David Smetanine (swimming), Pierre Fairbank (athletics) and Souhad Ghazouani (weightlifting) were also candidates.