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Is this the last Olympic torch relay?

By A Correspondent
April 08, 2008 13:39 IST
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Following the embarrassment in Paris yesterday, when the Olympic torch had to be put out briefly four times in the face of dogged protests over China's actions in Tibet, the International Olympics Committee is considering doing away with overseas relay of the Olympic torch in the future.

Patrick Hickey, president of the European Olympic Committees, told the South China Morning Post that the games' governing body could amend its rules so that host nations don't have to take the torch across borders and expose it to security breaches.

'It is something we will discuss later,' he told the newspaper from Beijing, where the committee was reviewing Beijing's preparations for the Games.

Kevan Gosper, head of the IOC Press Commission, while telling the newspaper that he was 'desperately disappointed' over the pro-Tibet demonstrations, added, 'I would expect that the executive committee will review that'.

While all officials said they were looking forward to a 'great Games', the Chinese Olympic delegates were stunned at the images of protests as they were beamed. However, spokesperson for the Beijing Organising Committee for the Games (BOCOG), Sun Weide, told the Post, 'No force can stop the torch relay of the Olympic Games.'

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A Correspondent