Torch run priority for former Olympians
KUALA LUMPUR: The five badminton players who have won medals in the Olympics will get priority to take part in the Malaysian leg of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Torch Run scheduled for April 21.
The Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) secretary general, Datuk Sieh Kok Chi, said that they hoped to select 80 people and priority would be given to former Olympians.
The five with Olympic medals are Sidek brothers Razif, Jalani and Rashid, Cheah Soon Kit and Yap Kim Hock (pic).
“Besides former athletes, other corporate figures and sponsors will also get a chance to take part in the run. We have started shortlist the names and we will announce the final list of runners shortly,” said Kok Chi.
Malaysia will be hosting the run for the second time after the 1964 Tokyo Games and Kok Chi said that it was an honour for the country for KL to be selected as one of the 21 cities in the world to stage it.
“The event will be telecast live around the world and it is a chance to showcase KL to the world,” he said.
The torch will arrive in KL from Bangkok and the 20km run will begin at the Dataran Merdeka and end at the KLCC (Kuala Lumpur City Centre). Each torchbearer will run a distance of 250m.
Kok Chi added that the Olympic torch relay this time would go on the longest route in the history of the Games, involving 21,880 torchbearers and covering a total distance of 137,000 km in 130 days.
The relay will begin on March 25 with the lighting of the flame at Olympia followed by a one-week journey to Athens where the Greek Olympic Committee will pass the torch to a representative from China on March 30.
The cauldron for the 2008 Games will be lit with the flame from the torch during the opening ceremony on Aug 8