Agnis Čavars has been chosen as Latvia's male flagbearer ©LOK

Latvia has chosen 3x3 basketball captain Agnis Čavars and Grand Slam tennis champion Jeļena Ostapenko as the country's flagbearers for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The pair will feature together at the Opening Ceremony here on July 23, after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) introduced a new rule encouraging countries to select one male and one female flagbearer.

Čavars' selection is notable for 3x3 basketball, which will make its debut on the Olympic programme in Tokyo.

"I knew the news a month ago because they congratulated me and told me that I was going to carry the flag," the 34-year-old said. 

"It was an emotional moment, but I couldn't tell anyone.

"I kept the secret until today. 

"So yes, it was like CSI - 'don't tell anyone.'" 

French Open winner Jeļena Ostapenko played at the Rio 2016 Olympics ©Getty Images
French Open winner Jeļena Ostapenko played at the Rio 2016 Olympics ©Getty Images

Twenty-four-year-old Ostapenko won the French Open in 2017 and also competed at the Rio 2016 Olympics.

She was Latvia's flagbearer at the 2014 Summer Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, where she won a bronze medal in doubles alongside Akvilė Paražinskaitė.

"Agnis Čavars is the founder and captain of the strong and passionate 3x3 basketball team," said Kārlis Lejnieks, Latvia's Chef de Mission

"Jeļena Ostapenko, who with her perseverance and purposefulness, sometimes even in spite of it, has proven that Latvia has brilliant sports talents that inspire Latvian society to be proud of their country and its talents." 

Latvia failed to win a medal at Rio 2016.

This was the first time the country drew a blank at the Summer Olympics since Barcelona 1992 when they competed independently for the first time following the break-up of the Soviet Union.