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Celebration marks 100 days to go -

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ELEANOR HALL: The Olympic torch relay may have been less than a PR success for China.

But today Beijing is marking 100 days until the start of the Olympic Games with a massive
celebration next to the stadium dubbed "the Bird's Nest".

The celebration involves 10,000 runners and many more thousands of dancers and performers.

Our China correspondent Stephen McDonell has been there and joins us now.

So Stephen just how big have these celebrations been?

STEPHEN MCDONELL: Well as you know, as always, everything in China seems pretty big and today's fun
run, as you mentioned features about 10,000 participants. As we speak some of the runners are
actually approaching the finish line.

But we've seen thousands of dancers in traditional dress, bright colours, fan dancing doing Chi
Kung, this sort of thing. And all of this right under the Bird's Nest stadium.

So it's quite an amazing scene.

ELEANOR HALL: Just describe that stadium for us, Stephen.

STEPHEN MCDONELL: Well as I'm standing here and looking up at it, it is an incredible structure.

By the way, the first runner has just run past me, so you might even hear a cheer as we come along
in a second.

But this incredible sort of twist of metal and there's sort of steel's quite an incredible
structure. It sort of looks like a giant basket, or a bird's nest as indeed it's being called.

And yet the whole thing just holds together incredibly. It's quite a remarkable sight.

ELEANOR HALL: Now Stephen, there's been a lot of criticism of the torch relay recently. What's the
mood of the crowd there today?

STEPHEN MCDONELL: Well the Chinese people, especially those that have been really looking forward
to the Olympic Games, the last couple of months have been pretty bleak. I mean, we've seen the
events in Tibet, and then the disruption of the torch relay, so it's been pretty bad for them.

And I think for many people it really has soured the Games quite a bit.

Today the mood is at least a bit happy for them. You know, finally they're thinking like they're
getting back towards a bit of what, I suppose, they though the Games was going to be like in the
first place.

So it's mass participation, it's people dancing, it's everybody happy and smiling. So I think
they're really just enjoying the day here.

And finally, I suppose having some good news about the Olympics to make them feel good about
Beijing hosting the Olympics again in August.

ELEANOR HALL: And are the Chinese Games organisers on track in their preparations, just 100 days
from the start of the Games?

STEPHEN MCDONELL: Well in terms of the stadiums and this sort of thing, they're all looking pretty
good, I have to say.

I mean look, you can possibly hear in the back, well every now and then you'll hear a bit of a
bang, bang, bang, you know the people still with a few jackhammers and things in the background

There's bits and pieces of scaffolding on various sort of sculptures.

So there's all that sort of work to do, but that's really going to be easily done in time.

The only thing they will be battling to finish, and I suppose they'll probably make it though, is
the subway line. It's only due to be open here about one month before the Games begin.

And that's not very long to be testing a subway. So the last of the subway lines to be finished
before the Games, that will be pretty tight.

But everything else, I think is going to be, they'll easily make it.

ELEANOR HALL: Stephen McDonell in Beijing, thank you.

That's Stephen McDonell, our China correspondent.