(ECNS) -- The flame for the 4th Asian Para Games arrived in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, on Thursday evening riding a high-speed train after it was collected in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, where the first Asian Para Games took place in 2010.
The torch relay kickoff ceremony is scheduled for Oct. 19 and the main cauldron is set to be lit during the opening ceremony of the Asian Para Games on Oct. 22.
Collected from Beijing's China Millennium Monument, the flame had been lit on Haixinsha Island in the heart of the Pearl River in Guangzhou on Dec. 12, 2010.
As the first city to hold both the Asian Games and Asian Para Games, Guangzhou has preserved the Asian Para Games Flame at the Flame Tower in the Asian Para Games Museum since the conclusion of the events.
At 9:49 a.m., the flame collector carefully approached the Flame Tower and kindled it using the ignition device.
During the ceremony, a traditional lion dance performance with a Lingnan flair was staged. Visually and hearing-impaired actors sang "Dreamy Paradise," a classic song well-known to Hangzhou residents and that appeared in the opening ceremony of the Hangzhou Asian Games on Sept. 23.
Guo Yonghang, a government official from Guangzhou, expressed his hope that through the collection of this flame, Hangzhou and Guangzhou would better promote the Olympic spirit and national fitness campaign.
"The Asian Para Games Flame leaves a permanent mark in the history of the Asian Para Games. Collecting the flame in Guangzhou symbolizes the continuation of the spirit and purpose of the Asian Para Games, while also passing on the torch of Asian parasports," said Du Zuofeng, deputy commander of the Hangzhou Asian Para Games Torch Relay Command Center.
"Implementing our economical approach to hosting the Asian Para Games,we’ve found that opting forthe high-speed train is much more cost-effective when compared to air travel. High-speed trains, a calling card for China, also showcase high efficiency," Du added.
This is the first time in the history of the Asian Para Games that a high-speed train has been used to transport the flame.
According to the relevant person in charge, it is crucial to maintain proper ventilation during transportation on high-speed trains. To ensure the efficient and safe transport of the flame, pertinent departments have offered technical support and conducted pre-transport tests.
The 4th Asian Para Games, which will commence on Oct. 22 at the Big Lotus in Hangzhou, features 22 major events, with a total of 564 sub-events.
Among the 19 competition venues, only two are exclusively used for the Asian Para Games, while the other 17 venues are shared with the Asian Games and have undergone conversion since the Asian Gamesconcluded.
At present, all permanent barrier-free facilities in the 19 competition venues meet national standards and have successfully undergone testing. The conversion of all competition venues is planned to be completed before Oct. 15.