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National Fitness Day marks anniversary of Beijing Olympics
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Millions of people took part in various sports exercises like long run and practicing shadow boxing across China on Saturday to mark the first National Fitness Day.

The National Fitness Day, which was sanctioned by the State Council, China's cabinet, falls on August 8 of each year to commemorate the Beijing Olympic Games, which opened on August 8, 2008.

Wang Jiaqi, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Science, joined more than 15,000 citizens in Changchun, the capital city of northeast China's Jilin Province, in running along the streets.

"I enjoy sporting exercises very much and benefit a lot," said Wang.

In Beijing, a total of 33,996 people from all walks of life gathered at the Olympic Green, where the Bird's Nest and the Water Cube, the two landmark venues of the 2008 Games, in the morning, practicing Taiji or shadow boxing. They broke the Guinness record for the number of people practicing Taiji simultaneously.

Elsewhere, young Mongols took part in horse races in Inner Mongolia while younkers of the Li ethnic nationality were bamboo dances in south China's Haikou.

"The launch of the National Fitness Day is the best commemoration for the fulfilling of China's centry-old Olympic dream," said Liu Peng, minister of the State General Administration of Sport.

(Xinhua News Agency August 9, 2009)

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