On Wednesday, 30 April, the historic Panathenaic Stadium in Athens, Greece, will witness another momentous Olympic event, the Flame-Collecting Ceremony and the Kick-off Ceremony of On-line Torch Relay for the Youth Olympic Games, hosted by Nanjing, China.
Jiang Fan, 25, the 110-meter hurdle champion of the 2013 Asian Athletics Championships and Sun Ziyue,18, a gold medalist in tennis at the 2013 Asian Youth Games in Nanjing have been selected as the torchbearers and will be attending the Flame-Collecting Ceremony in Athens and take part in the first four batons of the Torch Relay.
Questions & Answers
Q. What will the two athletes do in Athens?
A. They will take part in the Torch Relay.
Q. What is the highlight of YOG Torch Relay?
A. It will not be unveiled until the end of this month. It is reported that four torchbearers will attend the Flame-Collecting Ceremony, two coming from Greece and the other two coming from China, who will be Jiang Fan and Sun Ziyue. The four of them will participate in the four-baton Torch Relay on a small scale.
Q. Why have Jiang and Sun been chosen as the torchbearers?
A. They are native athletes of Nanjing with outstanding athletic achievements.
Q. Why have Jiang and Sun been selected as the torchbearers at the Flame-collecting Ceremony?
A. The two Chinese torchbearers at the Flame-Collecting Ceremony are required to be a male and a female athlete. The fact that Jiang and Sun are Nanjing athletes with outstanding athletic achievements makes them the most desirable candidates for the role. At the Asian Youth Games last summer in Nanjing, Sun not only won the first gold medal for China but also was the only Nanjing athlete winning two gold medals. Sun will take part in the tennis competition in the Youth Olympic Games.
Jiang Fan said, “It is an honor to light the YOG Torch.”
In the afternoon of 23 April, Jiang Fan, the 110-meter hurdle champion of the 2013 Asian Athletics Championships was asked how he felt about being a torchbearer at the Flame-Collecting Ceremony.
Jiang, a 25-year-old Nanjing resident, said, “It is a great honour for me” adding that the staff of Nanjing Municipal Bureau of Sports had informed him last month that he was a candidate under consideration to be a torchbearer at the Flame-Collecting Ceremony.
Early this month the staff of NYOGOC had a face-to-face interview with him. Jiang recalled, “They asked me some questions and we had a pleasant conversation for about thirty minutes” When it was announced that he was selected as a torchbearer at the Flame-Collecting Ceremony, Jiang said that his coaches and his family were thrilled, “It is an honour to do my share for the YOG,” Jiang stated.
Jiang Fan is making preparations for competition at the 17th Asian Games to be held in Inchon this September; he will leave Nanjing for Athens on 28 April.
Sun Ziyue: Potential Gold Medalist
In the Asian Youth Games last summer in Nanjing, Sun Ziyue not only swore the Olympic Oath on behalf of all the participant athletes but also won two gold medals in women singles and mixed doubles in tennis.
Seeing Li Na as her idol, Sun Ziyue started her tennis training at the young age of four and took part in international tennis competitions at 14. She once entered the doubles semi-final in the Australian Open Junior Championships.
Sun is currently in France preparing for competition at the French Open.
Zhang Jian, Director of the Tennis Department of the Nanjing Sport Institute said, “Right now, Sun is ranked in the World’s Top 10 juniors. To be a torchbearer at the Flame-Collecting Ceremony is exciting news for Sun and her family. She will take part in the Youth Olympic Games and has the capacity to compete for medals.”