New Delhi, June 26 : The Beijing Olympic Games organisers (BOCOG) have dropped the overseas leg of the Paralympic torch relay because of the devastating Sichuan earthquake.
The torch was to travel through the Summer and Winter Olympic host cities of London, Vancouver and Sochi, as well as Hong Kong before the Sept 6-17 Paralympic Games in Beijing.
But now its relay will be restricted to the Chinese mainland, the China Daily reported.
Zhang Qiuping, director of BOCOG's Paralympics department, said the May 12 quake had necessitated the changes.
"The main reason is the devastating earthquake in Sichuan. Now we want to focus on relief and reconstruction work and preparations for the Paralympics," Zhang said.
But, overseas torchbearers for the Paralympics are still welcome to participate in the domestic relay, he added.
The 16-stop domestic relay route has been changed too, and the torch will not travel to Chengdu, Chongqing, Urumqi and Tianjin.
The original Paralympic torch relay plan was released last September when its one-year countdown began.
The BOCOG Torch Relay Center will announce the new Paralymic torch relay plan soon.