HO CHI MINH CITY - The Beijing Olympic torch relay in Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City concluded here on Tuesday night after Vietnam's top Olympic official ignited the cauldron in a stadium near the Tan Son Nhat International Airport.
Nguyen Thi Thu Ha (R), vice mayor of Ho Chi Minh City, receives the torch from Chinese Ambassador to Vietnam Hu Qianwen, before running the opening leg of the torch relay in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, April 29, 2008. [Xinhua]
Nguyen Danh Thai, chairman of Vietnam's Olympic Committee who ran as the last torch bearer, lighted the cauldron at 20:20 local time, prompting loud cheers and applauses from the spectators.
During the torch relay, thousands of people, many of them enthusiastic Chinese expatriates and students, had lined the 10-km relay route, chanting support for the Beijing Olympic Games.
This is the 19th leg of the Beijing Olympic torch relay around the world, and also the first time for Vietnam to host an Olympic torch relay. After Ho Chi Minh City, the Olympic flame will head to Hong Kong.