Francis Rombouts is the first Belgian athlete to be selected for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games ©BPC

The Belgian Paralympic Committee (BPC) has selected its first individual athlete to represent the country at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics - boccia's Francis Rombouts.

The 36-year-old has never competed at the Paralympic Games before.

In fact, Rombouts took a break from high-level sport for more than a decade before returning 2017, since when he has done enough to earn Belgium a BC2 quota place at Tokyo 2020.

Olek Kazimirowski, BPC's Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020, said that both the Selection Commission and Board were in favour of Rombouts receiving the place.

While Belgium has already secured Tokyo 2020 places in team sports such as goalball and dressage, individual athletes have not yet been named to those teams, making Rombouts the country's first confirmed Paralympian for the upcoming Games.

"If there are still uncertainties around the organization of the Games, in this very particular global context, we remain determined to focus on this magnificent objective, with our athletes," said BPC President Anne d'Ieteren.

Belgium won 11 medals at the Rio 2016 Paralympics ©Getty Images
Belgium won 11 medals at the Rio 2016 Paralympics ©Getty Images

"The Games are a celebration for the world Paralympic Movement, but also the accomplishment of a very long sporting work for the athletes and their coaches. 

"By announcing this first name of the 'Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Team Belgium', we can say that the machine is really revived! 

"We hope to see it as the beginning of a return to normal."

Rombouts was born in India but adopted by a Belgian family when 18 months old.

A second-placed finish at the 2005 European Championship remains one of the highlights of Rombouts' career.