Torch relay concludes in Canberra peacefully
CANBERRA, April 24 (Xinhua) -- The 15th leg of the global Olympic
flame journey was completed Thursday noon as scheduled without
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