Baton Relay to mark CYG 2008 kicks off on Aug 1

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New Delhi, Jul 23 (UNI) The Youth Baton Relay, to herald the 3rd Commonwealth Youth Games 2008 to be held in Pune, will kick off here from Delhi University campus on August 1 and is slated to reach the Games village after criss-crossing nine states.

Aimed to convey the message of ''sports culture'', ''Green Games'' and ''Save the Tiger'' campaign in association with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the relay will criss-cross Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra. It will cover a distance of 8,000 km before reaching the venue on October 8, Chairman of Organising Committee of Commonwealth Youth Games Pune 2008 Suresh Kalmadi said while talking to mediapersons here this afternoon.

''The Relay will cover 199 cities, town and villages and will reach Pune after 74 days with the parcipation of 7500 volunteers from all walks of life,'' he said and added, ''The volunteers will collect water from every state on the route, which would be used in the opening ceremony for the spectacular Fountain of Youth.'' A Garden of Youth would also be created with the saplings brought in by athletes from the participating countries to the Games.

The Relay would also visit various National Parks and Sanctuaries to support the ''Save the Tiger'' signature campaign.

Kalmadi further said, ''most interesting part of the Baton relay is that in every state it will cover various routes, like in Mumbai, it will cover 10 km route under sea from the Gateway of India; whereas in Rajasthan the relay will cover route by travelling in a camel.'' The CYG 2008, which will be held for the first time in Asia, is slated to be held in Pune from October 12-18 in nine disciples - Athletics, Badminton, Boxing, Shooting, Shooting, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Weightlifting and Wrestling.

Around 1300 althletes and 351 officials from 71 countries would participate in the Games to be housed in a single sports complex.

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