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Paralympic Torch Relay in Qingdao
    2008-09-02 18:35:51     CRIENGLISH.com

Jiang Xintian, who ignited the flame out of a concave at the Beijing Paralympics flame lighting ceremony, performs during the Beijing 2008 Paralympics torch relay in Qingdao city, east China's Shandong Province, Sept. 2, 2008. [Photo: Xinhua]

The Paralympic torch relay visited Qingdao, a co-host city of Beijing Olympics, on Tuesday for its fourth leg of "modern China" route journey.

Qingdao, a coast city in Shandong province, has witnessed the arrival of both Olympic flame and Paralympic flame.

The relay started in the Olympic Sailing Center Square for the first five torchbearers prior to the one-kilometer transfer of torch on the sea for the sixth to tenth bearers on a sailing boat at 10 o'clock in the morning.

The relay on the sea was arranged in the site of Olympic sailing race, the event Qingdao took over as the co-host of the Beijing Olympics and Paralympics.

Then the relay continued in streets for the other 60 torch runners in a distance of 3.25 kilometers.

Wu Chunmiao, a 23-year-old Paralympic runner, set off the relay. Wu was the 200m gold medallist at the Athens Paralympics.

"I like sports since I was a kid, despite my poor eyesight," said Wu, who won the 200m and 400m race at China's National Games for the disabled in 2003.

"Sports helps me redicover the value of life. It was really exciting and surprising when I learned I had been picked up to open the relay," said Wu.

"I hope the Paralympics can inspire the disabled persons like me. If you have a dream, you can live a colorful life and we, the disabled people, deserve a dream and should strive to turn it to a reality."

Wu is going to compete in women's 100m and 200m of T11 category at the Beijing Paralympics to be opened on Saturday.

Thirteen people who use wheelchair got an opportunity to escort the torchbearer in midway of the relay. A group of students without eyesight sang the song "Heart of Thanks" to cheer the relay and the sign language of "Go China, Go Paralympics" was presented by disabled students who are unable to speak and hear.

Beijing Olympics bronze medallist Zhou Yafei was the last runner who lit the cauldron in the May Fourth Square.

Zhou, 24, combined with her teammates, won the bronze medal in women's 4X100m medley relay at the Beijing Games.

She was also gold medallist in the World Military Games 2007, Doha Asian Games 2006, East Asian Games 2005, World Swimming Championships 2003 and Busan Asian Games 2003.

The torch relay will move on to Dalian, Liaoning province in northeast China, for its fifth leg in the "modern China" route. The "ancient China" route took a relay on Tuesday in Nanjing, capital city of Jiangsu province.

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