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Torch relay concludes in Canberra peacefully
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The 15th leg of the global Olympic flame journey was completed in Canberra Thursday noon as scheduled without major disruptions.

Ian Thorpe, five-time gold medalist, ran as the last torch bearer and lighted the cauldron at 11:30 with loud cheers and applauses from the spectators at the Stage 88 in the Commonwealth Park in the downtown of the capital city.

During the torch relay, tens of thousands of spectators, many of them enthusiastic Chinese expatriates and students, had lined both sides of the streets, waited hours and followed the torch bearers along the route, chanting support for the Beijing Olympics.

Before the cauldron was extinguished, local and international dignitaries had praised the relay as successful and wonderful.

High security profile was in place to prevent major disruptions, with some 1,000 security personnel deployed to safeguard the historical event for Australia.

The whole ceremony lasted nearly three hours, opened with Chinese and Australian dances and songs.

(Xinhua News Agency April 24, 2008)

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