President accepts Queen’s invitation

Gaurav Vivek Bhatnagar

Ace shooter Abhinav Bindra to be the first baton-bearer of the Relay

NEW DELHI: President Pratibha Patil has accepted Queen Elizabeth II’s invitation to grace the Queen’s Baton Relay launch ceremony for XIXth Commonwealth Games Delhi-2010 in London in October this year.

A delegation comprising, among others, Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) president Mike Fennell and Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi met Ms. Patil here on Monday. Mr. Fennell thanked the President for accepting the invitation on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II. It was stated that Mr. Kalmadi had earlier during his meeting with the President extended an invitation to her to attend the launch of the Queen’s Baton Relay along with Queen Elizabeth II on October 29. The baton relay would take off from London and cover 70 nations. The Organising Committee has informed that ace shooter Abhinav Bindra would receive the Baton from the Queen as the first baton-bearer of the Relay.

The Queen’s Baton Relay is one of the great traditions of the Commonwealth Games. It has been the curtain raiser to every Commonwealth Games since 1958.

On arrival at the opening ceremony in Delhi, the baton would have travelled over 190,000 km over 340 days; this will make the Delhi Queen’s Baton Relay one of the longest in the history of the Commonwealth Games.

The relay will conclude with the final Baton-bearer entering the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the Games on October 3, 2010.

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