Anna Korakaki was also the first Torchbearer for these Games ©Getty Images

Two Greek Olympic champions are to lead the parade of athletes at the Tokyo 2020 Opening Ceremony in a fortnight’s time.

Rio 2016 shooting champion Anna Korakaki, will join gymnastics gold medallist Eleftherios Petrounias to carry the Greek flag, which has led the procession at every Games since 1928 in tribute to the nation’s Olympic heritage.

It will be the first time that Greece has had joint flagbearers. 

The decision "reflects the International Olympic Committee’s calls for gender equality", the Hellenic Olympic Committee said.

Korakaki, who won 25 metres pistol gold in Rio de Janeiro, had been the first Torchbearer for Tokyo 2020 when the Olympic Flame was kindled last year in Ancient Olympia.

She was also the first woman to carry the Flame in the precincts of the ancient stadium.

"The Hellenic Olympic Committee has given me a really big honour and I want to thank them for choosing me," Korakaki said. 

Eleftherios Petrounias won gold on the rings at Rio 2016  ©Getty Images
Eleftherios Petrounias won gold on the rings at Rio 2016 ©Getty Images

"It will definitely be a unique feeling to hold the flag of my homeland at the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games in a historic moment, as I will do it together with Lefteris [Petrounias]."

Petrounias became Olympic champion on the rings in 2016.

"A dream I had as a child has come true," he said. 

"I am sure that this moment will remain forever engraved in my mind and heart."

Petrounias had also carried the first Torch for the Rio 2016 Torch Relay in Ancient Olympia.

The choice of Korakaki and Petrounias offers a pleasing echo of 1964 when hurdler Georgios Marsellos was the first Torchbearer in Olympia and also carried the Greek flag at the Opening Ceremony in Tokyo.

Other notable Greek flagbearers have included triple Olympic weightlifting champion Pyrros Dimas, who did so twice, and windsurfing gold medallist Nikos Kaklamanakis.

At Rio 2016 the Greek flag was carried by 2004 sailing champion Sofia Bekatorou, the first woman to do so at a Summer Games.