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Indian expat to carry Olympic torch

By Raghavendra
November 02, 2007 16:18 IST
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An Indian businesswoman has been chosen among eight foreigners to carry the Olympic torch on Chinese soil in August next year.

Meena Barot, from northern city of Shijiazhuang, came fourth in an online poll after a month-long campaign.

The seven other expats who will carry the torch for 200 metres in order of winning votes are: Jenny Bowen of the US, Marcos Torres of the Philippines, Werner Ebel of Germany, Yoshitoshi Mizuya of Japan, Luis Hong Sanchez of Colombia, Yury Ilyakin of Russia and British-Venezuelan Deirdre Smyth.

Applicants were asked to submit a profile justifying their candidacy, then frogmarched through a public online vote after which a selection panel made up of officials from computer maker Lenovo and the official China Daily had the final say.

To restrict the winners to one per country and keep the programme as cosmopolitan as possible, two Americans were removed from the final list despite garnering enough votes to secure a place, the China Daily said.

Lenovo Group, the worldwide partner of the Olympic torch relay, had organised the campaign along with China Daily.

Some 262 people from 47 countries and regions vied for the eight slots and another 245,000 voted. Totally, 1.5 million persons covering a broad sweep of 156 nationalities visited the campaign webpage, the newspaper said.

Applicants, votes and comments poured in from all around the world after the online campaign began on September 7, Alice Li, vice-president, Olympic Marketing of Lenovo, said.

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