The Japanese Olympic Committee on Thursday named speed skater Miho Takagi as team captain for the upcoming Beijing Winter Games, where the three-time Olympian is expected to contend for multiple gold medals.

The JOC also named speed skater Arisa Go and Nordic combined skier Akito Watabe as flagbearers for the opening ceremony of the Feb. 4-20 games.

Combined photo shows (from L) Miho Takagi, Arisa Go and Akito Watabe. (Photo courtesy of JOC)(Photo use permitted only for the story concerned)(Kyodo)

"I'm really honored," Takagi said. "We'll strive to be our strongest, no matter what challenges we meet."

The 27-year-old is set to contest five events and will be a favorite to win the women's 1,500 meters and team pursuit.

She is the second consecutive women's speed skater to captain Japan at the Winter Olympics, with Nao Kodaira taking on the role at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games.

The 33-year-old Watabe, a two-time silver medalist in the men's individual normal hill 10-kilometer event, and the 34-year-old Go, competing at her second Olympics, will lead the Japanese team into Beijing National Stadium for the Feb. 4 opening ceremony.

The JOC has named a 122-member team, with men's figure skating superstar Yuzuru Hanyu and snowboard halfpipe competitor Ayumu Hirano among the other athletes expected to bring home medals.

As some participation slots at the games potentially are subject to reallocation, the eventual team could become Japan's largest-ever overseas contingent, exceeding the 123 sent to Pyeongchang.

With 138 coaches and officials, the Japanese delegation numbers 260 in total. An inauguration ceremony will be held on Jan. 29 before their departure for China.

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