— Published 12 June 2023

The flame on its way to Chengdu

And so it begins. The torch relay for the 31st World University Games, scheduled from July 28 to August 8, 2023 in Chengdu, China, got underway on Saturday June 10. The torch was lit by a high-ranking Chinese dignitary, Vice Premier Ding Xuexiang, on the campus of Peking University. The relay is scheduled to last 48 days. It will pass through four Chinese cities in addition to the capital – Harbin, capital of Heilongjiang province, Shenzhen, Chongqing and Yibin, in Sichuan province – before reaching Chengdu. The first torchbearer was a gymnast, Olympic champion Zou Jingyuan, from Sichuan. Other torchbearers on the first leg of the relay included Olympic shooting champion Yang Ling and former table tennis player Deng Yaping. Chengdu is the third Chinese city to host the Summer University Games, after Beijing in 2001 and Shenzhen in 2011.