Greek officials handed over the Olympic Flame to organizers of the Beijing Games yesterday amid minor protests by a pro-Tibetan group. The ceremony was held at the all-marble Panathenaic Stadium, where the first modern Olympics were staged in 1896. Hundreds of police lined the flame’s route, scores of security vehicles followed the torch-bearers and helicopters hovered overhead – the strictest security measures since torch relays were launched at the 1936 Berlin Games. «In 130 days the 2008 Beijing Olympics begin. We and the other nations of the world look forward to this moment,» said Beijing Games organizing chief Liu Qi before accepting the flame. The Games run from August 8 to 24. Protesters holding Tibetan flags and shouting «Free Tibet» and «China out of Tibet» failed to break through the police cordon and get to the final torch-bearer entering the stadium. Police detained 21 Greeks and foreigners for staging the protests but said they would be released later. Several others were moved away from police cordons. About 7,000 Greek and Chinese spectators inside the stadium watched as Greek triple jumper Chrysopigi Devetzi carried the torch into the stadium lined with Greek and Chinese flags. Greek presidential guards and actresses dressed as ancient priestesses looked on. On Saturday and Sunday, about 2,000 police were deployed around Athens. The torch will be officially welcomed in China today before beginning a worldwide relay, the longest ever, 130 days and covering 137,000 kilometers. Most of it will be on Chinese soil.