Buenos Aires, April 2: Argentine soccer celebrity Diego Maradona will be the first runner to carry the Olympic torch when it arrives in Argentine capital Buenos Aires April 11, if he is in Argentina, a source close to the negotiations has said. Also taking part will be former tennis player Gabriela Sabatini, silver medallist in the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
“He is willing and negotiations are going well," the source said, but he said that Maradona will be heading back from an overseas visit during this time, and has been unable to confirm for that reason. Francisco Irarrazabal, the deputy sports chief for Buenos Aires city council, has formally invited Maradona, 47. The Argentine Olympic Committee did not invite him because their focus is on former Olympic athletes, a criterion Maradona fails to meet.