Li Yongbo, head coach of the Chinese national badminton team, sensed enormous pride as a torch bearer while "complaining" that his run of torch relay was too short on Thursday.
"It's a great honor for me, as it is my first time to be a torch bearer," said the former world champion after running the 194th leg of first-day torch relay in Beijing. "If the Olympics were not hosted in our own country, I wouldn't have such a chance."
The head coach, however, felt a tinge of disappointment for the short distance of his run.
"It was only fifteen meters, too short a distance for a former athlete like me," said Li, who bagged six world titles in the men's doubles badminton for China.
"But anyway, it is a unique experience in my life, which I would cherish forever," he added.
The torch relay started its final leg in Beijing on Wednesday morning from the landmark Forbidden City in the heart of Beijing, with a total of 841 torch bearers, including some big names, ranging from China's hero astronaut Yang Liwei to basketball superstar Yao Ming.
(Xinhua News Agency August 7, 2008)