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Sports > Popular News > Universiade Shenzhen 2011

Torch relay of 26th Summer Universiade begins

2011-05-04 03:43:48 GMT2011-05-04 11:43:48(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang lights up the torch during the Torch Relay Launch Ceremony for the 26th Summer Universiade at the Peking University in Beijing, capital of China, May 4, 2011. (Xinhua/Wang Ye)

The national flag of China and the flag of the International University Sports Federation (FISU) are shown during the Torch Relay Launch Ceremony for the 26th Summer Universiade at the Peking University in Beijing, capital of China, May 4, 2011. (Xinhua/Ding Lin)

Torchbearer Xing Yan'an displays the torch during the Torch Relay Launch Ceremony for the 26th Summer Universiade at the Peking University in Beijing, capital of China, May 4, 2011. (Xinhua/Gong Lei)

Torchbearers Gao Ming (R) and Wang Qining pose for a photo with the torch during the torch relay for 26th Summer Universiade at the Peking University in Beijing, capital of China, May 4, 2011. (Xinhua/Li Wen)

Guards display the flame of the 26th Summer Universiade during the Torch Relay Launch Ceremony for the 26th Summer Universiade at the Peking University in Beijing, capital of China, May 4, 2011. (Xinhua/Gong Lei)

BEIJING, May 4 (Xinhua) -- The torch relay for the 26th World University Games kicked off at Peking University here on Wednesday, marking the 100-day countdown to the opening of the event also known as Universiade.

At the presence of hundreds of students and teaching staff, Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang lit the main torch from a cauldron at a ceremony held in front of the Peking University Hall.

"I declare the start of the torch relay for the 26th Summer Universiade," Li said after handing the torch to Xing Yan'an, a Peking University postgraduate who was the first relay runner.

The southern Chinese city of Shenzhen will host the 26th Summer Universiade from Aug 12-23, 10 years after Beijing held the 21st event in 2001.

Generally known as the "Small Olympic Games", the Universiade is held every two years.

A total of 54 torchbearers chosen from all walks of life took part in the relay on the Peking University campus.

The flame, which was kindled on April 25 at Tsinghua University in Beijing, will be carried through Shenzhen University on May 10 before Guangzhou University Town takes the baton on May 15. The torch will also be passed around the city of Shenzhen on Aug 10 and 11 before the opening of the Universiade.

An estimated 13,000 participants from more than 180 countries and regions will take part in the 11-day event.

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