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Beijing's pulse speeds up as Olympics nears
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The pulse of China's capital is speeding up with the city's hosting of the Olympic Games only seven days away.


Torchbearer Ge You runs with the torch during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games torch relay in north China's Olympics co-host city Tianjin, August 1, 2008.[Xinhua]

The Olympic torch arrived in Tianjin, about 137 km away from its final destination on Friday. By coincidence, it was 100 years ago at an inter-college games in Tianjin that Zhang Boling, then a famed education expert, first argued China should form a sports delegation to attend the Olympic Games.

After his speech, the local magazine Tianjin Youth put out an article posing several questions: "When can China send an athlete to attend the Olympics? When can China send a sport delegation to the Olympics? When can China host an Olympic Games?"

They have all been answered now.

The torch will take another seven days to reach the National Stadium, or the "Bird's Nest", but passengers from Tianjin can arrive in the capital in 30 minutes.

The Beijing-Tianjin Intercity Railway, the world's fastest with passenger trains running at 350 km per hour, started operation on Friday. It cuts the 70-minute journey between the Olympic host city and co-host by more than half.

The first intercity train between Beijng and Tianjin departs from Beijing South Railway Station for Tianjin, Beijing, capital of China, August 1, 2008. The intercity rail line between Beijing and Tianjin is a high-speed rail. The new train service would cut the 120-km journey from the current 70 minutes to about 30 minutes. [Xinhua]

 The service shuttles spectators, athletes, media people and other passengers to and from Tianjin which is holding 12 Olympic football matches from August 6 to August 15.

In Beijing, more and more athletes were pouring into the city to prepare.

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