Olympics flame touring ‘City of Goose’

May 9th, 2008 - 2:33 pm ICT by admin  

Huizhou (China), May 9 (Xinhua) The Olympics flame is touring Huizhou, nicknamed “the city of goose”, in China’s Guangdong province Friday and will start its relay in Shantou, the home city of millions of overseas Chinese and a special economic zone in east Guangdong Province, Saturday. The relay, the third stop in Guangdong province, started with the local backstroke swimmer Chen Xiujun as the first bearer in the morning. The flame had passed Guangzhou, the capital city of the province, Wednesday and Shenzhen, China’s first special economic zone, Thursday.

Thursday also witnessed the history-making moment when a separate relay was held on Mt. Everest, the world’s highest peak.

In Huizhou, the 30.78-kilometre relay route covers the Huizhou West Lake, a natural tourist sight of the city. The Huizhou Stadium, where the torch relay started, was built in the shape of a goose. It will also hold the 13th Guangdong Sports Event in 2010.

During the past 30 years of reform and opening-up, Huizhou has been an economic powerhouse of Guangdong. It also has the world’s largest battery producer as well as Asia’s biggest telephone manufacturer.

Shantou will be the sacred flame’s fourth and last stop in the Guangdong province and the relay will cover 48 kilometres with 208 torch-bearers.

The Shantou relay is going to start on the square in front of Longhu District Government, where the Shantou special economic zone began to boom, set to pass local attractions such as Shantou Railway Station, Gulf Bridge, Shantou Natatorium, Queshi Scenic Spot, Queshi Bridge, Star Lake Park and reach the celebration site Municipal People’s Square.

The main feature of the Shantou relay is that it is going along the coast line of Shantou Gulf, the only gulf embedded in the city centre in China. Shantou Gulf is where Han River, Rong River and Lian River join the ocean. It covers 37 square kilometres, five times as large as the West Lake in Hangzhou City.

The relay will go across the gulf twice, through the 2,500-metre long Gulf Bridge and the 3,500-metre long Queshi Bridge respectively.

Living in a seaside city, the Shantou people have strong affection for aquatic sports. The city is famed as the “cradle of world champions”. Six torch-bearers out of the total 208 are world champions in diving, including Sun Shuwei, the gold medal winner of the 10 metres platform diving competition in the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games.

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