BEIJING Four days after closing the 2008 Beijing Games in triumph, China lit the 2008 Paralympics torch amid pomp and ceremony at Beijing's ancient Temple of Heaven, marking the start of a domestic relay for the September 6 Games.
ROME Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell's Olympic preparations suffered a slight setback on Friday when he pulled up in his heat of the 100 meters at Rome's Golden Gala with a groin strain.
The former world record holder finished fifth in the heat despite pulling up abruptly at the end and qualified for the final with a time of 10.19 seconds.
But he decided not to race on even though his manager Paul Doyle said the problem was not serious.
"It's nothing," Doyle told reporters. "He just felt his groin cramp up. He'll be fine, but he's not going to take any chances in an Olympic year.
"He's had problems with his groin in the past and got over them every time."
The 25-year-old, who has missed much of the season with a chest problem, lost to Usain Bolt at the Jamaican Olympic trials last month and saw his compatriot steal his world record in May by running 9.72.
(Editing by Ken Ferris)
Beijing cancels sentence for elderly women
SHANGHAI Two elderly women have won a reprieve from a sentence to one year in labor camps handed down after they sought permission for a protest during this month's Beijing Olympics, a rights group said.