Kenyan volleyball skipper Mercy Moim spoke of her joy at being selected with rugby sevens captain Andrew Amonda to fly the flag at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony on Friday 23 July.
“I’m so happy with the selection,” she said of Kenya National television. “I know we will do our best.
“I didn’t expect it. When I see my trip as a girl from a small village called Kaboiyo, I’m excited and even more motivated to have our national anthem sung during the Olympics,” said Moim.
After the archer Shazad Anwar in 2016, she is only the second woman to carry the Kenyan flag.
In a social media message on Twitter, Amonde said, “It is a great honor to receive the flag on behalf of all the athletes who will represent Kenya.”
President Uhuru Kenyatta presented the flag in a special delivery ceremony at the State House ten days ago.
The president told the team, “Sport in our country has also attracted the best talent, bringing together personalities and professionals from around the country. Our values of hard work and service to the nation are deeply rooted in our athletes.”
In the meantime, the 2013 800-meter world champion, Eunice Sum, has been named team captain of her expected farewell games.
Rio 2016 javelin silver medalist Julius Yego reportedly retired from the role after an argument with team management.
The 89-strong Kenyan team consists of 49 women, the largest contingent of women at any Olympic Games.
It is the second time that women outnumber men.
At the last Games in Tokyo in 1964, the 37-person team did not consist of a single woman, but with the legendary Kip Keino at his first Olympic Games.
Then the Kenyan flag was carried by sprinter Seraphino Antao, a two-time gold medalist at the 1962 Commonwealth Games.