The Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) signed an agreement with Lord Mayor of Kuala Lumpur (KL) for Olympic Torch Relay here on Monday.
Lin Xiaohua, deputy director of Torch Relay center told Xinhua that they choose KL as a city hosting Beijing Olympic Torch Relay, because Malaysia and China are good neighbors in Asia, and KL is a multi-lingual and multi-cultural city.
The Beijing Olympic Torch Relay will take place in KL on April 21, 2008. Each torchbearers will run a distance of 250 meters, within a time of 2.5 minutes, making a total distance covered by the 80 torchbearers to be 20 km.
"This is a great opportunity for the City of Kuala Lumpur to show its solidarity with and support for Beijing in their efforts to make the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games the best ever Olympic Games," said Abdul Hakim Borhan, Lord Mayor of KL.
"The Olympic Torch Relay in Kuala Lumpur will also publicize the Visit Malaysia Year Campaign, which has been extended to August 31, 2008, through the live TV coverage of the Relay throughout the world," he added.
This will be the second time that Malaysia hosts this run, the first being during the run-up to Tokyo Games in 1964, according to Imran Ja'afar, president of the Olympic Council of Malaysia.
"The relay will showcase a special concept, from old Kuala Lumpur to New Kuala Lumpur," Imran said at a news conference attached with the signing ceremony.
It will begin from Merdeka (Independent) Square, passing Merdeka Stadium, and through various places including KL Tower and KLCC (Kuala Lumpur City Center), he said.
After KL, the torch relay will move to Jakarta, capital of Indonesia.
The relay will have the longest route in the Olympic Torch Relay history, involving 21,880 torchbearers who will cover a total distance of 137,000 km in 130 days.
The relay will begin on March 25, 2008 with the lighting of the flame at Olympia, followed by a one-week journey to Athens, where Greek Olympic Committee passes the torch to a representative of China on March 30, 2008.
From Beijing, the relay winds across Asia, Europe, America, Africa, Oceania, and then back to Asia and China before the torch ignites the cauldron at the opening ceremony on August 8, 2008.
The Olympic Torch Relay, themed "Journey of Harmony" and sloganized as "Light the Passion Share the Dream", will cover 21 cities.
One of the highlights of this relay will be the ascent of the Olympic Flame to the highest peak in the world, Mt. Qomolangma.