Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Queen’s Baton Relay enters Uttarakhand from Himachal

The Queen’s Baton Relay for the 2010 Commonwealth Games entered Uttarakhand Tuesday after a three-day trip through Himachal Pradesh, an organiser said.

‘Hundreds of schoolchildren, sportspersons and people gathered at Paonta Sahib (the last Himachal Pradesh town it passed through) despite heavy rains to bid farewell to the baton,’ state youth services and sports director J.R. Katwal told IANS.

The baton, which entered the state July 4 at Mehatpur town in Una district Sunday, covered a 560-km journey through Kangra, Hamirpur, Bilaspur, Shimla, Solan and Sirmaur districts.

International and national players like Sita Gosain (hockey), Samresh Jung (shooting) and volleyball players Aruna Tomar and Gulshan accompanied the baton in its final leg in the state.

The baton has travelled nearly 170,000 km through nearly 70 Commonwealth countries before arriving in India for the Games scheduled Oct 3-14 in New Delhi.

Pakistan’s Olympic Association chief Syed Arif Hassan handed over the baton to Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Suresh Kalmadi, who is also chairman of the organising committee of the 2010 Games, at Attari border in Punjab June 25.

By the end of its journey, the baton would have travelled over 190,000 km through different modes of transport across land, air and sea in 340 days. This will make the 2010 baton relay one of the longest in the history of the Commonwealth Games.

The 2010 Commonwealth Games is the biggest sporting extravaganza being hosted by India since the 1982 Asian Games held in New Delhi.

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