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LIPETSK, January 13, 6:26 /ITAR-TASS/. The Olympic Torch relay-race on Monday proceeds on its way via the cities of Russia's Central Black-Earth Belt. On Monday mornign it will be welcomed by the residents of the city of Michurinsk, Tambov Region. The Torch will then travel by train to Lipetsk.
The Torch will be brought by rail to Michurinsk at 09:35, Moscow time.The Cossack Song Ensemble "Stanitsa" (Cossack village) will perform for the throng outside the railway terminal. The first torch will be carried through the city's streets by Yelena Protasova, chief coach of Michurinsk-based women volleyballers. "It is gratifying that the Torch also travels via the small towns of Russia," Protasova told journalists on Sunday. "The province is the forte of the Olympic movement in Russia. It is over here that sports emerge and it is coming precisely from here that sportsmen later mount the steps of the victors' stands," she maintains.
In Lipetsk, where the train will arrive at midday, the route of the Olympic Torch relay-race will be about 23 km long. The route has been arranged to enable tens of thousands of cityfolk and guests of the regional center to watch the Torch. The symbol of the Olympic Games will be carried through the city streets by 176 sportsmen. The relay-race procession will end in the evening with the lighting of the Olympic Flame Bowl in the Peter the Great Square. Along with Lipetsk, the relay-race will also go to the ancient Russian city of Yelets and then to Oryol.
The Sochi-2014 Olympic Torch relay-race is the longest and most impressive in scale in the history of the Winter Olympics. It began on October 7, 2013, and is to end on the day of the opening of the Olympics -- February 7, 2014. The relay-race will be watched by the inhabitants of 2,900 cities in all constituent entities and regions of the Russian Federation.