Vadim Gorbenko, 73, a sports school director and Greco-Roman
wrestling coach, felt ill after walking 150 metres (500 feet) with
the torch in his home city of Kurgan in western Siberia, said Roman
Osin, spokesman for the Sochi 2014 torch relay.
"He returned to the gathering place and was photographed, then he
said he was not feeling well and was taken to hospital, but the
doctors were unable to save him," Osin, who travels with the relay,
said by telephone.
"We express our deepest condolences to his loved ones."
Osin said Gorbenko, who had trained top Russian wrestlers and won
state honors, had suffered two heart attacks in the past. He was
conscious when he was taken to hospital and had spoken to his son at
his bedside before his death.
Russia's four-month, 65,000-km (40,000 mile) torch relay has been
clouded by mishaps.
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The flame has gone out dozens of times since President
Vladimir Putin handed it off in Red Square on October 6, and
last month a torchbearer's jacket caught fire as he carried the
flame though another Siberian city.
Cosmonauts took an unlit torch on a spacewalk last month. The
Olympic flame has been to the north pole and Lake Baikal on a
journey that will end at the opening ceremony in Sochi on
Putin appears eager to improve Russia's image and build his own
legacy by hosting the country's first post-Soviet Olympics, but
he has faced criticism over legislation seen in the West as
anti-gay and some world leaders are staying away from the Games.
The 14,000 torchbearers in the Sochi 2014 relay are not asked to
sign releases but are warned that it involves some physical
exertion and their health is their own responsibility, Osin
(Writing by Steve Gutterman; editing by Elizabeth Piper)
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