The Chendgu 2021 FISU Games Flame has been transported to Beijing ©Zhao Wangyang/Chengdu 2021

The Chengdu 2021 International University Sports Federation (FISU) Summer World University Games Flame has been flown to China's capital Beijing to begin the Torch Relay.

The Torch named Rong Huo was initially lit in Turin, the Italian city which held the inaugural Universiade in 1959, in January 2021.

Escorted by 21 members, it was carried from Chengdu Tianfu International Airport to Beijing in a Chengdu 2021-branded Sichuan Airlines aircraft, piloted by the renowned Liu Chuanjian.

From Beijing, the Flame is set to be carried across China in the Torch Relay from Saturday (June 10) until July 28.

Rong Huo Torches feature Chengdu's iconic giant panda and the city logo featuring the sun and immortal birds.

The Flame lantern follows a similar design, with hollow-carved bamboo leaves on the upper part and a panda hugging the main part.

The Flame lantern incorporates Chengdu's iconic giant panda ©Yan Chaoliu/Chengdu 2021
The Flame lantern incorporates Chengdu's iconic giant panda ©Yan Chaoliu/Chengdu 2021

Chengdu is known as a panda breeding centre, and most remaining wild pandas are based in and around 20 isolated habitats in China.

Chengdu 2021 has been delayed by two years because of tough COVID-19 restrictions in China, but has retained its original branding for the dates of July 28 to August 8 this year.

It is set to mark the first multi-sport event in China since the Government relaxed it so-called "zero-COVID" policy.

A total of 15,000 athletes are expected to compete across 18 sports at the FISU World University Games, set to be the third in China after Beijing 2001 and Shenzhen 2011.

Yekaterinburg in Russia was initially awarded hosting rights for the Summer edition of the 2023 FISU Games, but these were suspended following the invasion of Ukraine.