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Paralympic torch lands on Shanghai

2008-09-01 09:39:28 GMT2008-09-01 17:39:28 (Beijing Time) Xinhua English

The Paralympic torch was relayed on Monday in Shanghai, the third stop of the flame's "modern China" route. (Xinhua Photo)

SHANGHAI, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) -- The Paralympic torch was relayed on Monday in Shanghai, the third stop of the flame's "modern China" route.

Zhao Jihong, a prolific Paralympic athlete, launched the 3km relay of 60 torchbearers.

Zhao, who doesn't have eyesight, had won four golds, three silvers and one bronze in three Paralympics. She set a world record of women's triple jump for the blind B in the seventh edition of Paralympics.

Xu Lijia, a Beijing Olympic bronze medallist in sailing, ran in the sixth place.

Xu won a bronze at Laser Radial, a class at which Europeans usually excel.

"I have my best two days this year. Last month, I won a medal in the Beijing Olympics and now I'm running as a torchbearer of Paralympics," said Xu.

"My two dreams come true today. One is being part of the Olympics and the other is being part of the Paralympics," added Xu.

Chinese swimmer Pang Jiaying lit the cauldron at 10:40 a.m. as the last torchbearer.

Pang, 23, notched up three Olympic medals, one silver and two bronzes, in the Olympics last month.

"It's a great honor for me to get the opportunity to carry the torch and light the cauldron," said Pang, who won four gold medals at the Doha Asian Games 2006.

Huang Wentao, another Paralympic athlete who doesn't have eyesight, passed the torch in the 56th place. Huang was the Paralympic triple jump champion in 1992 and he repeated the feat at the Sydney Paralympics.

"We just held a successful Olympics. Now our first Paralympics is coming. We the disabled persons expect the Paralympics to be a great success," said Huang.

Twelve out of the 60 bearers were disabled persons in the relay.

The next destination for the "modern China" route is Qiangdao, a coastal city in Shandong province.

The Beijing Paralympic torch relay will cover 13,181 kilometers over nine days, passing 11 cities.

The Paralympic torch relay was carried out along two routes, namely the route of "modern China" and the route of "ancient China". "Modern" route covers Shenzhen, Wuhan, Shanghai, Qingdao,Dalian and Beijing, while the "ancient" has Xi'an, Hohhot, Changsha, Nanjing and Luoyan.

Torchbearer Pang Jiaying lights the cauldron during the Beijing 2008 Paralympics torch relay in Shanghai, east China, Sept. 1, 2008.

Torchbearer Pang Jiaying lights the cauldron during the Beijing 2008 Paralympics torch relay in Shanghai, east China, Sept. 1, 2008. (Xinhua/Pei Xin)

Torchbearer Zhao Jihong holds up the torch during the Beijing 2008 Paralympics torch relay in Shanghai, east China, Sept. 1, 2008.

Torchbearer Zhao Jihong holds up the torch during the Beijing 2008 Paralympics torch relay in Shanghai, east China, Sept. 1, 2008.  (Xinhua/Pei Xin)

Torchbearers Zhao Jihong (R) and Song Xiaobo hold up the torches during the Beijing 2008 Paralympics torch relay in Shanghai, east China, Sept. 1, 2008.

Torchbearers Zhao Jihong (R) and Song Xiaobo hold up the torches during the Beijing 2008 Paralympics torch relay in Shanghai, east China, Sept. 1, 2008.   (Xinhua/Xu Liang)

Torchbearer Sun Li runs with the torch during the Beijing 2008 Paralympics torch relay in Shanghai, east China, Sept. 1, 2008.

Torchbearer Sun Li runs with the torch during the Beijing 2008 Paralympics torch relay in Shanghai, east China, Sept. 1, 2008.    (Xinhua/Xu Liang)

Spectators wave flags during the Beijing 2008 Paralympics torch relay in Shanghai, east China, Sept. 1, 2008.

Spectators wave flags during the Beijing 2008 Paralympics torch relay in Shanghai, east China, Sept. 1, 2008.    (Xinhua/Yang Guang)

The Paralympic torch was relayed on Monday in Shanghai, the third stop of the flame's "modern China" route.(Xinhua Photo)

Torchbearer Bian Jianxin holds the torch during the Beijing 2008 Paralympics torch relay in Shanghai, east China, Sept. 1, 2008.(Xinhua Photo)

Torchbearer Sun Li (R) lights the torch of Xu Fengjian during the Beijing 2008 Paralympics torch relay in Shanghai, east China, Sept. 1, 2008.

Torchbearer Sun Li (R) lights the torch of Xu Fengjian during the Beijing 2008 Paralympics torch relay in Shanghai, east China, Sept. 1, 2008.  (Xinhua/Yang Guang)

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