Emirati swimmer Yousuf Al Matrooshi has raised the UAE flag at the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony.
The event was held at the Olympic Stadium on Friday without spectators due to Covid-19.
Al Matrooshi said he was happy to bear the UAE flag and extended his “thanks, appreciation and gratitude” to the National Olympic Committee, led by Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed, for granting him the honour.
Shehab Al Faheem, the UAE ambassador to Japan, who attended the ceremony, said the event stirred feelings of pride among Emiratis.
"Our wise leadership spared no effort to provide continuous support to the UAE hero athletes in all sports," he said.
“We look forward to seeing the UAE flag flying high during this global event."
The opening ceremony was also attended by engineer Aza bint Suleyman, assistant secretary general for the Administrative and Financial Affairs of the National Olympic Committee.
Al Matrooshi is part of a five-member squad competing in the 32nd Olympic Games, the UAE's smallest contingent since the nation first participated in Los Angeles in 1984.
The Dubai resident, 18, received a wildcard for the 100-metre freestyle at Tokyo.
“The Olympics is an experience that I can take forward to the worlds and compete in front of my people, family and friends,” Al Matrooshi said.
Almost 83,911 athletes competing in 339 competitions are taking part in this year’s Games.