Guangzhou, Nov 12 (IANS) In a brilliantly executed display, China’s Olympic diving champion He Chong ignited a giant firecracker whose flame shot up and lit the cauldron during the opening ceremony of the Asian Games at the Haixinsha Island here Friday.
The torch, first lit on the Great Wall of China, arrived, in the hands of dragonboat athlete Wu Guochong and was handed over to Chen Yi Ping, an Olympic and Asian record holding gymnast. It was then passed on to a famous Chinese yesteryear football player, who again handed it to China’s Olympic table tennis gold medallist Deng Ya Ping.
Finally world champion diver Chong along with two local kids Xiong Yuxiang and Chen Jiayu light a big firecracker that lit the main cauldron.
Two years ago at the Beijing Olympics, China also left the world spellbound with the artistry of lighting the torch when former champion gymnast Li Ning was hoisted high above the crowd on a wire and ‘ran’ a lap around the rim of the stadium. Lighting a giant fuse, he ignited the colossal torch, which had been hidden from view and was lowered into place moments before the climax.