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Eight-Year-Old Chinese Girl Completes 3,500 km Run

An eight-year old girl has run from southern China to the capital in a controversial celebration of next year's Beijing Olympics.

The state-run Beijing News agency says Zhang Huimin reached the capital Sunday after running 3,500 kilometers in just under two months. She had set off from the southern tip of Hainan island on July 3.

Some Chinese medical experts have accused the girl's father, Zhang Jianmin, of child abuse for organizing the run. He followed her for much of the way on a motorbike.

The medical experts said running such long distances could damage the young girl's body and affect her growth.

Zhang averaged about 65 kilometers a day, the equivalent of 1.5 marathons. Her father has denied forcing her to run and says his daughter made the sacrifice for the glory of her country.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters.