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Olympic marathon at Tiananmen Square

india Updated: Jan 05, 2008 11:38 IST

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The marathon at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing will begin from central Tiananmen Square, one of China's most popular tourist spots, state media said on Saturday.

Nearly 20 years after the bloody crackdown on public protests in the square in June 1989, organisers have chosen the spot - always under tight security - as the starting line for the marathon, the 'Beijing News' reported.

According to the newspaper, citing a source on the organising committee for the Beijing Games, the route will be officially unveiled in February or March.

The finish line will be located in the new Olympic stadium - known as the "Bird's Nest" because of its intricate design of interwoven steel - in the north of the Chinese capital.

The women's marathon is set to take place on August 17, while the men will compete on August 24.

The Tiananmen Square pro-democracy movement ended in bloodshed on June 4 1989, when tanks crushed the demonstrations, killing hundreds and possibly thousands of protesters.