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Olympic torch to stay 2 hours at Tiananmen Square on Games eve
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The Olympic torch relay will stop for two hours at Tian'anmen Square in central Beijing on the eve of the Olympic Games, a Chinese official said on Thursday.

A ceremony would be held on the square when the torch arrived after circling the world and going through every province and region of China, said Jiang Gongmin, head of the Beijing Bureau of Culture.

He said that the torch would circle half the square, which is the world's largest, spanning 440,000 square meters, or larger than 50 football fields. Afterwards, a fire-lighting ceremony and art performance would be staged.

Tian'anmen Square will be the last leg of the relay before the torch enters the National Stadium. It will also be the starting spot of the marathon event of the Games.

The relay is to have 21,880 Chinese and foreign torch bearers along the 137,000-kilometer route, which will include the world's highest mountain, Mount Qomolangma.

(Xinhua News Agency March 7, 2008)

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