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Asian Games torch relay to start in Mashhad, Iran

Nov 7 Tehran, Nov 6, IRNA-The 15th Asian Games torch relay will start in Mashhad, the capital of northeastern Khorassan Razavi Province, Tuesday, symbolizing the upcoming sporting event in the Qatari capital Doha.

The relay is to begin at 10:00 am (local time) and 125 people, including veteran sportsmen, students, officials, and six Qatari nationals will carry the flame.

According to the schedule, the torch will fly to the 2006 cultural capital of the Islamic world, Isfahan in central Iran, and then to Tehran Wednesday and Thursday respectively.

Nasrollah Sajjadi, the head of Iranian teams in Qatar, will be the first official who starts carrying the torch in the Tochal ski resort in northern Tehran and the next torchbearers will be the four-time world and twice Olympic +105kg weightlifting gold medalist Hossein Rezazadeh, legendary keeper Ahmad-Reza Abedzadeh, and former national and Persepolis skipper Mohammad Panj'ali.

The torch, which is wind-resistant at speeds of up to 60 kilometers an hour, symbolizes the desire to merge and light anew the spirit of competition and friendship throughout Asia, organizers said.

It has traveled the furthest in its history this year -- 50,000 kilometers and through 15 countries across the region.

After the Tehran relay, the flame will be flown to Salalah, Muscat, Sohar in Oman; Hatta, Sharjah, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates; Kuwait City, Manama (Bahrain) and back to Doha for the kickoff of the Games that will be held from December 1-15.

... Payvand News - 11/6/06 ... --

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