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Torch relay for 4th Asian Para Games concludes in Hangzhou

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HANGZHOU — The torch relay of the 4th Asian Para Games concluded on Saturday in the host city of Hangzhou, capital of East China’s Zhejiang province.

With the theme of “Hearts meet, dreams shine”, the relay in Hangzhou was attended by 600 torchbearers, aged between 14 and 73.

After Thursday’s launch ceremony in Chun’an County, which is known for its “Thousand Islands Lake”, the relay passed through Jiande City, Tonglu County and Fuyang District before concluding in Hangzhou’s Xiaoshan District.

Chinese powerlifter Tan Yujiao, two-time powerlifting champion at the Rio and Tokyo Paralympics, was the first torchbearer during the Chun’an leg.

“When I saw Tan Yujiao push the wheelchair forward with the torch, I was so moved. This is a moment for people with disabilities to gain more confidence and courage,” said Wang Xiaoming, a Chun’an resident who came to watch the relay.

Song Maodang, who won the men’s 100-meter butterfly S8 title and set a world record at the Rio Paralympics, was the first torchbearer at Tonglu.

“When I held the torch, the fire in my heart burned up again. It’s like being back on the field,” Song said.

“We aim to win a gold medal and I hope that people with disabilities can live strong and optimistic lives,” said Lu Xiaocong, who will compete in the canoe event at the Hangzhou Asian Para Games.

“There are 188 torchbearers with disabilities participating in the torch relay. We have carefully designed and arranged barrier-free facilities to ensure the safety and success of the relay,” said Du Zuofeng, deputy commander of the Hangzhou Asian Para Games torch relay command center.

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