Olympic torchbearers’ list is a guarded secret

April 14th, 2008 - 8:40 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 14 (IANS) The list of sportspersons and celebrities to take part in the Olympic Torch relay in the Capital Thursday is kept as a closely guarded secret by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). None in IOA seems to be aware of the torchbearers list, as president Suresh Kalmadi is keeping the cards close to his chest. Kalmadi is expected to announce the names of the runners on the eve of the relay.

Initially, some 80 names were selected for the run, but uncertainty over the route and security concerns made some of the sportsmen and women to excuse themselves.

The mounting pressure from the Tibetans protesting against the Chinese crackdown in Tibet and the large-scale protests in London and Paris has forced the Indian government and the IOA to make changes in both the route as well as the people to be invited for the relay.

The list has now been pruned to almost half the original list of 80. The runners include brand ambassadors of sponsors of the Beijing Olympics like Samsung, Lenovo and Coca-Cola.

Till now only the names of 14 runners have been made public. Five of these belong to IOA, six to Samsung, two to Lenovo and one from Coca Cola.

The names are:

IOA: Sachin Tendulkar, Pullela Gopichand, Shiney Wilson, Milkha Singh and Anju Bobby George

Samsung: P.T. Usha, Rajinder Singh Rahelu, Abhinav Bindra, Manavjit Singh Sandhu, Ayan Ali Khan and Sagarika Ghatge

Lenovo: Saif Ali Khan and Soha Ali Khan

Coca Cola: Aamir Khan

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