Curtain raiser to 2010 CWG to be launched on Oct 29

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New Delhi, Oct. 23 (ANI): The Delhi Commonwealth Games Organising Committee Chairman, Suresh Kalmadi, on Friday said the Queen's Baton Relay 2010 will be launched on October 29 when Queen Elizabeth II hands over the Baton to President Pratibha Patil in Buckingham Palace in London.

The Queen's Baton Relay is one of the great traditions of the Commonwealth Games, dating back to the 1958 in Cardiff.

Commonwealth Games Federation President, Michael Fennell will remove the Baton from its plinth and invite Queen Elizabeth II to place her message to the athletes inside the Baton and then hand it over to the President of India.

Patil will then hand over the Baton to Union Sports Minister M S Gill who will then pass it on to Kalmadi only to be handed over to the first Baton bearer Abhinav Bindra, India's first individual Olympic gold medallist.

"The Queen's message to the athletes has been engraved onto a miniature 18-carat gold leaf that is representative of the ancient Indian palm leaf patras. The embossing has been done by micro-calligraphy that uses modern laser technology. And the Baton itself that is a fusion of handcrafted elements, precision engineered body and ornamented with intricate hand layered soil patterns," Kalmadi told reporters.

Kalmadi also said that the Baton would arrive in India on June 25, 2010 from Pakistan through the Wagah border.

"The international sector will traverse 170, 000 kilometres by land, air and sea and it will arrive in India on 25 of June from Pakistan at the Wagah border and it will start a 100-day national tour. The national stretch is about 20, 000 kilometres, which is twice as long as the domestic sectors of the Baton relays of Manchester or Melbourne," added Kalmadi.

The Organising Committee will hand over the baton to Sir Andrew Foster, chairman of Commonwealth Games Council, England, in a formal ceremony at New Palace Yard on October 30, which will then begin its journey around the nations and territories of the CWG.

Besides Bindra, the other Batonbearers are-Olympic Games 2008 medallists Vijender Kumar, Sushil Kumar, 1958 Commonwealth games gold medallist winner Milkha Singh and Olympian Gurbachan Singh Randhawa, ace tennis star Sania Mirza and many other eminent Indian sportsperson. (ANI)

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