By Gary Anderson

The Nanjing 2014 Virtual Torch Relay is set for a trip underwater following a visit to Fujian Province in China ©Nanjing 2014The Nanjing 2014 Summer Youth Olympic Games Virtual Torch Relay has set off on a unique journey which will see it travel 5,000 metres down to the depths of the sea as the countdown to the event continues.

The Virtual Torch Relay set sail from Mawei Harbour in Fujian Province on board a research boat and will be passed onto a submersible vessel before travelling down to the bottom of the West Pacific Ocean.

Organisers hope that the special leg of the Relay will help inspire young people to learn more about the field of deep sea science and to explore, innovate and protect the environment.

A special Virtual Torch Relay app is available allowing young people to follow the deep sea expedition, which organisers claim, has already had more than 70,000 downloads and 33 million hits since the Nanjing 2014 Flame Lighting Ceremony at Athens' Panathenaic Stadium in April.

Nanjing 2014 mascot Nanjinglele was on hand to help launch the Virtual Torch Relay in ©Nanjing 2014Nanjing 2014 mascot Nanjinglele was on hand to help launch the Virtual Torch Relay in ©Nanjing 2014

The app aims to engage and inspire fans to get active and learn more about the Olympic values, as well as various games and activities, with the virtual journey taking in 258 online locations throughout the nations and regions that will participate at Nanjing 2014.

The Virtual Torch Relay has passed through more than 181 countries and regions so far and is scheduled to begin its trek through host country China on Thursday (July 10).

The second edition of the Youth Olympic Games will consist of 3,600 athletes from 204 nations participating in 28 sports and is due to take place from August 16 to 28.

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