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The Indian hand in Beijing Games

Meena Barot, a 26-year-old Indian, is among eight expatriates elected to carry the Olympic torch on Chinese soil on August 8, reports Amit Baruah.

world Updated: Jan 14, 2008 04:13 IST
Amit Baruah

Everybody gets a chance in the spotlight — it’s only a matter of when and where. And Meena Barot knows exactly when her time will come, and where.

The 26-year-old Indian is among eight expatriates elected to carry the Olympic torch on Chinese soil. She will run 200 metres with the torch, a privilege for a select few. The Beijing Games open on August 8.

“This is the biggest thing in my life,” a thrilled Barot, now a China resident, told HT just before meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday.

“It shows that a person with an ordinary background and a normal job can get to do great things,” Barot, who is the chief representative officer for Shalina Laboratories Pvt Ltd in Bejing, said.

Born in Vadodara, Barot spent most of her life in Mumbai. She moved to China some time ago.

Wearing a silk sari and looking anxious but happy, Barot said she was elected in an online poll a couple of months ago to be one of foreigners who would get to carry the Olympic torch. Her chance will come in Xingjiang province.

“I got 9,266 votes, most of them from India, but I also got several hundred votes from Chinese suppliers to my company, which sources pharmaceutical products for export to Africa,” Barot said.

“This is my greatest chance to do something for my country,” she said with a wide smile.