Wu Yibing (L) and Jiang Lijuan pose during the final day of the torch relay for the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, east China's Zhejiang Province, Sept. 20, 2023. (Xinhua/Sun Fei)
The 12-day Hangzhou Asian Games torch relay, featuring 2,022 torchbearers, highlighted Chinese culture and stories, concluding with Wu Yibing, the first mainland Chinese ATP Tour trophy winner.
HANGZHOU, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- The Hangzhou Asian Games torch relay concluded on Wednesday, with China's tennis star Wu Yibing completing the final leg as the torchbearer.
Commencing in Hangzhou on September 8, the relay featured 2,022 torchbearers who passed the torch through 11 cities in Zhejiang Province, showcasing Chinese culture and heartwarming stories of ordinary people.
Throughout the torch relay, various attractions and cultural heritage sites in these cities were featured, along with visits to modern landmarks like Hubin Road and the West Lake music fountain in Hangzhou.
Luo Xuejuan begins the torch relay on Sept. 8, 2023. (Xinhua/Sun Fei)
The relay was inaugurated by Luo Xuejuan, the women's 100m breaststroke winner at the 2004 Olympic Games, and concluded with Wu Yibing, the first player from the Chinese mainland to win an ATP Tour trophy.
Wu, an icon of Chinese tennis, often shares messages of encouragement and support with his peers through the media. He reflected on some childhood memories after completing his run on Wednesday, stating, "I want to encourage young people to preserve their dreams and pursue them. We, the younger generations, are like a flame, and we have an obligation to keep it burning."
The torchbearers ranged in age from 14 to 84, symbolizing the inclusive spirit of the Asian Games, which aims to involve people of all ages.
This inclusive idea extended to the virtual world as well, with over 100 million people participating in the virtual torch relay on a digital platform launched on June 15. When the flame of the Hangzhou Asian Games is ignited on September 23, digital torchbearers will collectively "light" it in the virtual realm. ■