Zi Lin Zhang carries the 2008 Olympic Torch!

Amidst the heavy security, speed skating Olympic champion Yang Yang was the first to carry the torch on the southern tropical island of Hainan, with basketball star Yi Jianlian together with the reigning Miss World 2007 from China Zi Lin Zhang (in photo) also made an appearance.

The torch will travel through more than 100 cities and scenic spots in China, including Tibet and Xinjiang where protests have erupted in recent weeks against Chinese rule, heading the Olympic opening ceremony in Beijing on August 8 this year.

Chinese President Hu Jintao voiced confidence that the Games would be a success, "I believe, with the wide participation of the peoples of the world... and support from the international Olympic family, the Beijing Olympics will be an event of high quality"

Zhang, who last year became the first Chinese to win the Miss World event, said she was honoured to have carried the torch. "I wish the distance could have been a bit longer, but I think that if in a lifetime you have the opportunity to have such a short experience, it's enough," the beauty queen said.

Zi lin, who was recently in Ireland, will next travel to New Zealand and then to Cannes, where she will be a special guest at the Cannes Film Festival.


"To God be the Glory".