New Delhi: The intense security arrangements made by Delhi police for the Olympic torch run paid off. Unlike London and Paris, no Tibetan protester got close to the torch.
After all the soul searching and controversy over whether they should, 70 of India’s best known sportsmen and celebrities participated in a short run that was long on celebrities and sportspersons.
In the 2.3-km between Rashtrapati Bhavan and India Gate, the Olympic torch changed hands 70 times. Veterans of the fields, current stars and a fair sprinkling of Bollywood glamour.
Those who ran included: the flying Sikh Milkha Singh, PT Usha, who came within a whisper of a Olympic medal, former Hockey captain Dhanraj Pillai, lifters Karnam Malleshwari and Kunjurani, athletes and Olympic finalists Anju Bobby George and Shiny Wilson, Bollywood stars Aamir Khan, Saif and Chak de! India star Sagarika Ghatge.
The run ended with the Olympic bronze medalist Leander Paes and his doubles partner Mahesh Bhupathi lighting the cauldron at India gate.