The International Olympic Committee (IOC) left countries the choice to send one or two flag bearers to the opening ceremony. The Belgian Olympic Committee (BOIC) seized the opportunity to send Nafi Thiam (who is defending her heptathlon title in Tokyo) and Felix Denayer (who took olympic silver with the Belgian national hockey team in Rio 2016).
"We are very happy with the choice", the Belgian delegation leader Olav Spahl told reporters in Team Belgium's base camp in Mito. "With Nafi and Felix we have a man and a woman to bear the flag. Nafi is from the French-language community and Felix from the Dutch-language community, which are both represented. It symbolises the diversity in our country."
Denayer is chasing a first Olympic title with the Red Lions; the Olympic title is the only one eluding them.