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UK Indian schoolgirl stars with Beckham

An Indian-origin schoolgirl from east London starred alongside popular footballer David Beckham during the closing ceremony of Beijing Olympics.

india Updated: Aug 24, 2008 21:31 IST

An Indian-origin schoolgirl from east London starred alongside popular footballer David Beckham during the closing ceremony of Beijing Olympics on Saturday.

Ten-year old Tayyiba Dudhwala had won a BBC competition to take part in the handover ceremony where Britain received the Olympic flag from China. London is the venue of the 2012 Olympics.

The 16-day sporting event got a befitting signing off and when London Mayor Boris Johnson was handed over the Olympic flag by his Beijing counterpart Guo Jinlong, the onus was passed on to the British capital to match in 2012.

Britain performed well in the Beijing Olympics, exceeding expectations by bagging 47 medals, including 19 golds, and finishing fourth overall.

Dudhwala, the young girl from Forest Gate, emerged from the roof of a London double decker bus with the England football star.

Sukwinder Sanghera, deputy headteacher of her school, Elmhurst Primary School, described Dudhwala as "football crazy" and said she would be thrilled to meet Beckham.

"The school made a really big deal of her achievement. She will be representing the British people in Beijing."

For the competition, Dudhwala had to write a postcard explaining why she was excited about the Olympic or Paralympic Games.

Her cousin, Zakir, said she returned home from school one day and the competition crew were waiting to tell the news.

"She had been hoping she would win but I don't think she could believe it when she actually did," he said, adding, "She was really looking forward to going and it was quite emotional for her".