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Torch Relay in Harbin concludes

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Torch Relay in Harbin concludes

(HARBIN, July 11) -- At 11:15 a.m. on Friday, the Harbin leg of the Beijing Olympic Torch Relay wound up successfully,as the last torchbearers Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo lit the cauldron at Taiyangshi (Sunny Stone) Square.

Torch Relay in Harbin concludes

China's first world champion pairs figure skating team, Shen and Zhao won an Olympic bronze medal in 2002, the first for China. They are three-time world champions and five-time Grand Prix Final champions

The first leg in Heilongjiang Province finished at Taiyang Island (Sun Island) on Songhua River.

Although cloudy in the morning, Harbin saw numerous residents lining up and cheering for 208 runners along the 14.86km route which passed scenic spots in the city.

Figure skating world champions Zhang Dan and Zhang Hao became the first pair of torchbearers in the leg to jointly carry the Olympic flame and lead the journey in the province. Their heroic performance at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games is still an example among Chinese sportsmen. They had planned a throw quadruple salchow jump for the free skate, but Zhang Dan fell on the ground and suffered an injury. Two minutes later she regrouped and finished the program. They won the silver medal.

Among the other torchbearers were Harbin-born policeman Liu Yamin, who stood out in the disaster relief efforts in earthquake-hit Sichuan Province, and Jiang Lixue, who led outpatient medical care during the 2003 SARS incident.

Located in the center of northeast Asia, Harbin is called a "bright pearl" on the "Continental Bridge linking Asia and Europe," where Eastern and Western cultures converge, giving it such titles as "Oriental Moscow" and "Oriental Paris."

The Torch Relay team heads for Daqing City today, for the next leg on Saturday.

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Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
August 8-24, 2008

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