Olympic torch relay sets off in Quanzhou

May 12th, 2008 - 3:16 pm ICT by admin  

Quanzhou (China), May 12 (Xinhua) The Beijing Olympic torch relay started Monday in China’s southeastern coastal city Quanzhou, the third stop in Fujian province. After the relay started at the front square of China Museum for Fujian-Taiwan at 8:23 a.m. local time, the 20-kilometre relay stretched through the city’s historic sites and landmarks, including Riverside Road, Linzhang Gate, Jiangbin SportsPark, Dapingshan Tunnel, before reaching its destination - the square in front of the Straits Sports Centre, where a ceremony is scheduled.

Tens of thousands of local residents dressed in red lined the streets, waving national flags and carrying the logos and banners for the Beijing Olympics, which will be held Aug 8-24.

Crowds chanted “Jia You, Beijing!” and “Go, go, go!” all along the torch relay.

A total of 108 torchbearers, including athletes, local officials, workers, businessmen, teachers and students, were lined up to run through the city.

Ding Shuibo, 38, who is a manufacturer of a sneaker branded Tebu, was picked up to carry the torch at the second leg.

“I’m excited and honoured at the moment when I hold up the torch. I will keep the memory for life,” Ding said.

“As I have been lucky enough to get a ticket to this Olympics, I am going to Beijing to watch the games and cheer for Chinese athletes this August,” he added.

Quanzhou is known as one of the most famous hometowns of overseas Chinese and major ancestral homes of Han Chinese.

It is one of the first 24 renowned historic cities named by the State Council, and also the departure point of the ancient “Maritime Silk Route”.

Besides, Quanzhou boasts booming individual businesses, making it one of the fastest developing and most dynamic economic zones in China.

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