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Olympic torch relay successfully held in New Delhi

Published by  david at 2008-4-18;

NEW DELHI - The President of the Indian Olympic Association, Suresh Kalmadi, said Thursday's Olympic torch relay in the capital New Delhi was a success.

"The spirit of the Olympics is universal and should be upheld by the whole world," said Kalmadi, who ran the first leg of the relay between Rashtrapati Bhavan, the presidential palace, and India Gate.

India's sports minister M. S. Gill expressed his heartfelt wishes for the Beijing Olympic Games and said he will attend the grand sports event in August.

During the torch relay, more than 400 expatriate Chinese from the eastern Indian city of Calcutta performed a traditional Chinese lion dance to celebrate the occasion.

Some 15,000 security guards were deployed along the 2.3-km relay route to guarantee the success of the torch relay, in which 70 torchbearers participated.

Police said some "pro-Tibet independence" activists had tried to sabotage the relay and about 180 people were arrested near the relay route.

New Delhi was the 11th stop on the Olympic flame's global journey. The next leg will be held in Thailand's capital Bangkok on Saturday.

The torch is set to leave for Bangkok Thursday evening.

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