Ellie Simmonds is the first British female Paralympian to be flagbearer since 2000 ©ParalympicsGB

Swimming great Ellie Simmonds and Beijing 2008 archery gold medallist John Stubbs have been selected as Britain's flagbearers for tomorrow's Opening Ceremony at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games here.

Simmonds is one of the nation's most notable Paralympians, having won five gold medals in the pool over three Games.

She made her debut at Beijing 2008, winning two titles in the women's 100-metre freestyle S6 and 400m freestyle S6.

Simmonds has achondroplasia, a genetic disorder whose primary feature is dwarfism.

She has also claimed a silver medal and two bronzes.

"I'm hugely honoured to carry the flag for the ParalympicsGB team - on behalf of all the athletes, support staff and for the entire nation back home," said Simmonds.

"To go the Paralympic Games and be given the opportunity to do that is just amazing.

"This is going to be my fourth Games and my first Opening Ceremony. 

"Just to be here in Tokyo is amazing but to carry the flag is the icing on the cake and I can't wait for the competition to start."

At the same Games that Simmonds debuted, Stubbs won his gold medal in the men's individual compound and added a silver eight years later at Rio 2016 in the mixed team compound event.

"Both Ellie and John exemplify what it means to be a ParalympicsGB athlete," said Chef de Mission Penny Briscoe.

John Stubbs is the oldest member of the British team and is to compete at his fourth Paralympic Games ©ParalympicsGB
John Stubbs is the oldest member of the British team and is to compete at his fourth Paralympic Games ©ParalympicsGB

"Their excellence on the field of play as well as their integrity, leadership and commitment to the team is something very special.

"I am delighted Ellie and John will jointly carry the Union Flag on Tuesday and I have no doubt that by their example they will inspire the whole of the ParalympicsGB team to achieve great things over the coming 12 days of competition."

Both are to compete at their fourth Games at Tokyo 2020.

Simmonds is the first woman to carry the flag for Britain since fellow swimmer Maggie McEleny in 2000.

Stubbs is the oldest athlete on the Tokyo 2020 team at 56 years old.

"It's an absolute honour to be representing ParalympicsGB as flag bearer alongside Ellie," Stubbs said.

"I felt incredibly emotional when I was told the news. 

"For any elite athlete to go to the Games and be bestowed this honour is a privilege. 

"Words can’t describe what it means to me.

"It's been a torrid year - unfortunately I lost my Dad in January. 

"He was my biggest fan, and hopefully if he's looking down on me, he’s there saying, 'do it for the Stubbs family John, you’ve earned it and you deserve it'. 

"I know my family will be as proud as punch."

Britain finished second on the medal table at the Rio 2016 Paralympics behind China, with 65 golds, 39 silvers and 44 bronzes.

The Tokyo 2020 Paralympics are scheduled to take place from tomorrow until September 5.