LAUSANNE: The order of the traditional militaristic march-past by athletes at the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games is being reshuffled by the International Olympic Committee writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

The IOC executive board decided today in Lausanne that teams from the upcoming host countries of the corresponding Games (summer or winter) should march immediately before the current host delegation, which traditionally closes the athletes’ parade.

This means that, at Tokyo 2020, the three last teams to march will be the USA, France and Japan, in that order. The refugee Olympic team, which was second-to-last at Rio 2016, will come immediately after Greece which traditionally heads the parade.

An IOC statement explained: “The aim of the change is to increase the special focus that future hosts already enjoy over the course of their Games preparations by giving them prominence in the stadium and among global audiences during opening ceremonies.”