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Last Updated: Wednesday August 06 2008 07:05 GMT

Olympic torch reaches Beijing

Chinese astronaut Yang Liwei runs the start of the Olympic torch relay at Forbidden City, Beijing

The Olympic torch is now being taken on a final three-day lap of the Olympic city Beijing in China. The first torchbearer was Yang Liwei, who in 2003 became China's first man in space.


Thousands of people have turned out to see the torch as it nears the end of its 130-day 140,000km world journey, accompanied by protests of China's treatment of Tibet.

Chinese NBA basketball icon Yao Ming (C) holds the Olympics torch under a portrait of the late Chinese leader Mao Zedong

Hereís Chinese basketball star Chinese Yao Ming with the torch, who said: "After lighting it, my mind went blank, and then I just wanted to hurry up running ahead."


A total of 433 runners were due to pass the torch on Wednesday, watched by enthusiastic fans, like this man. Wonder if itíll wash off?

Dancers celebrate as the Olympic torch reaches Beijing

Dancers performed along the torch's route. On Friday a runner will use it to light the Olympic flame in the National Stadium at the opening ceremony, but their identity is a top secret.