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China to auction more Olympic items on anniversary

More than 20 memorabilia items from the Beijing Olympics, from an autographed torch to a barbell kissed by a Chinese weightlifting winner, will be up for auction next week to commemorate the first anniversary of the games.

Other items to be sold Aug. 8 include inflatable boats that carried judges and the media during sailing events, the China Beijing Equity Exchange said on its Web site.

The barbell was the one Zhang Xiangxiang knelt and kissed after winning the gold medal in the men’s 62 kg category. Also up for auction are an Olympic torch autographed by former IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch and torches from previous games.

“These articles, as an important part of the Olympic heritage, attracted wide attention of the media and borne the spirit of Olympic Games with touching stories,” said the state company, which was appointed by organizers to dispose of assets.

The auction will be held at the company’s auction venue in Beijing and 13 other cities, as well as on a Web site. The firm has collected $27 million by auctioning off 700,000 Olympic items in the past year, including an extra-long bed slept in by NBA star Yao Ming.