Hangzhou, China, September 10, 2023: Olympic champions and Asian Games gold medal-winners have been out in force in the opening stages of the Hangzhou Asian Games Torch Relay.
The relay began on Friday, September 8 with the launch ceremony on the shores of the West Lake in Hangzhou and continued through Huzhou on Saturday. Next up is Jiaxing on Sunday, when 170 torchbearers are expected to take part.
On Saturday in Huzhou, the relay was led off by women’s volleyball superstar Zhou Suhong, Olympic champion at Athens in 2004 and a three-time Asian Games champion with China in 2002, 2006 and 2010.
Wu Jingyu, Olympic women’s taekwondo champion in 2008 and 2012, also took part on Saturday as the 91st torchbearer. Wu is a two-time Asian Games champion in 2006 and 2010.
The last torchbearer in Huzhou - and 170th in all - was former javelin athlete Li Rongxiang, a three-time Asian champion and Asian Games gold medal-winner at Busan 2002. He also won two bronze medals at the Asian Games.
The relay will run from September 8-20 with 2,022 torchbearers in 11 cities in Zhejiang province. On the last day of the relay, delegates from the OCA’s 45 National Olympic Committees will each run 50 metres.
At the 19th Asian Games opening ceremony on September 23, six torchbearers will complete the ceremonial proceedings before the cauldron is lit.