CANNES, May 22 — French athletes carried the Olympic torch up the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival yesterday, as it makes its way to the capital for the Summer Olympics.

The torch landed in the southern port city of Marseille earlier this month on board a 19th-century ship that had sailed it all the way from Greece.

It is now on a meandering route across France — and its overseas territories — building up to the Paris Games, which run from July 26 to August 11.

On the red carpet, French basketball player Iliana Rupert was among those to hold the torch to the sound of tunes from sporty film soundtracks — including “Chariots of Fire, about runners training for the 1924 Paris Olympics.

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Retired sprinter and three-time Olympic gold medallist Marie-Jo Perec had her turn, as did the chief organiser of the Games, Tony Estanguet.

The Olympic flame is set to travel through 400 towns and dozens of tourist attractions during its 12,000-kilometre journey through mainland France, as well as visiting overseas French territories in the Caribbean, Indian Ocean and Pacific.

Authorities have said anti-terror and riot police in vehicles as well as anti-drone specialists would be permanently but discreetly deployed as the torch moves around. — AFP

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