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  Monday, November 18, 2019
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The Olympic torch of the Summer Games in Beijing arrived Friday
The Olympic torch of the Summer Games in Beijing arrived Friday in Russia's second largest city of St. Petersburg as part of its mammoth, five-continent relay.

The Olympic flame arrived in Russia on a special flight from Turkey's Istanbul and its relay through St. Petersburg's streets will begin at Victory Square on Saturday morning. The flame will be stored overnight at a secret location for security reasons.

The first person to bear the torch will be Galina Zybina, Russia's shot put gold medalist at the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki, Finland, she will then hand the flame over to the Chinese Ambassador to Russia Liu Guchang, who in turn will pass it to Leonid Tyagachyov, the president of the Russian Olympic Committee.

In all, the torch will be carried in Russia by 80 people, among them famous athletes, cultural and business figures and politicians, covering a distance of 20.4 km (12.7 miles).

The stop in St. Petersburg is the third in the Olympic torch relay outside China, and it has already been in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on April 2 and Turkey's Istanbul on April 3. It will go on Saturday from St. Petersburg to London, the capital of Britain.

So far there have been no reports of any protests.

Pro-Tibetan protestors have pledged to meet the Olympic flame with demonstrations throughout its 137,000-kilometer (85,100-mile) journey. Rights groups are also expected to use the occasion to raise the issue of human rights in China, as well as the country's arms trade with Sudan.

The Summer Olympic Games are due to begin in Beijing on August 8.


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