Chengdu 2021 has named panda Zhi Ma as the real version of the World University Games mascot "Rongbao" with the public now able to follow the animal’s daily life.
Rongbao was revealed as the mascot for Chengdu 2021 in December, alongside the slogan and logo for the Games.
A panda was chosen as the mascot as Chengdu is known for its breeding centre, and its surrounding woods are the world's only natural habitat of one of China's most famous exports.
Chengdu 2021 launched a global competition titled "Choosing a Real Rongbao".
The competition invited people to select which panda most resembled the cartoon mascot.
Chengdu 2021 say fans will now be able to follow updates on Instagram and Twitter through the profile “Rongbao2021" of the three-year-old Zhi Ma
Congratulations to Zhi Ma, our #RealRongbao!— Chengdu 2021 World University Games (@Chengdu2021) August 19, 2020
Later at 12:00PM, Zhi Ma will say Hi to everyone live!
Are you ready to meet our new #Rongbao?
Click here!→ https://t.co/t6DS8193df@FISU#1yearcountdown #FISU #Chengdu2021 #Rongbao#pandaZhiMa pic.twitter.com/z1s9FwFKWC
Organisers claim the real mascot will serve as a unique symbol of the Games.
It is hoped the mascot will enhance Chengdu's international recognition and popularity, as well as garnering an international audience.
The naming event was among the celebrations marking the one-year to go countdown until the Summer World University Games in the Chinese city.
Chengdu 2021 is scheduled to run from August 18 to 29 next year.
It is the third time that China will host the Summer World University Games after Beijing in 2001 and Shenzhen in 2011.