Sunday, September 19, 2010

Agra gears up to welcome Commonwealth Games Queen's Baton on Monday

 Preparations were in full swing in Agra, the city of Taj Mahal, to welcome Queen's Baton for the Commonwealth Games 2010 on Monday.

School children, who will perform on the occasion of Queen's Baton arrival, were busy practicing for the preparations in the Eklavya Sports stadium on Sunday.

These students are very excited to perform on this special occasion.

Skydiving team 'Akash Ganga' of the Indian Air Force will perform a free fall from a height of 15,000 feet.

"This is my unique experience and before this our team have jumped many times and we have never conducted such a big show in Agra, which is a unique experience for us," said A.K Yadav, a member of the Akash Ganga team.

During the practice session, a skydiver, dressed up in the attire of the Commonwealth Games mascot 'Shera' also performed the free fall during the practice session to promote the upcoming mega sports event.

"The main logo of the mascot is 'Come Out and Play' and through this adventurous sport I am trying to convey the same message with the team of Akash Ganga," said Yadav.

The Queen's Baton Relay, similar to the Olympic Torch Relay, is a relay around the world held prior to the beginning of the Commonwealth Games.

The Baton carries a message from the Head of the Commonwealth, currently Queen Elizabeth II.

The Relay traditionally begins at Buckingham Palace in London as a part of the city's Commonwealth Day festivities. The Queen entrusts the baton to the first relay runner. At the Opening Ceremony of the Games, the final relay runner hands the baton back to the Queen or her representative, who reads the message aloud to officially open the Games. By Brijesh Kr. Singh

No impact of Jama Masjid shooting on Games: Bhanot

The shooting outside Jama Masjid here Sunday in which two foreign tourists were injured will not impact the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Delhi, Organising Committee secretary general Lalit Bhanot said.

Bhanot said that the home ministry and Delhi Police have made elaborate arrangements to provide a safe and secure environment for the athletes and officials scheduled to arrive soon in the host city.

The Commonwealth Games Association is satisfied with the plans and preparations made by police and the international security liaison group formed by the ministry, Bhanot said.

Some 7,000 participants and officials from 71 countries and terrorities are expected to attend the Oct 3-14 Commonwealth Games, India's biggest sporting event after the 1982 Asian Games.

Meanwhile, a red alert has been sounded in the capital following the shooting incident and suspicious vehicles are being checked.

Two gunmen on a motorcycle opened random fire at one of the entrances to the Jama Masjid here around 11.30 a.m., leaving two Taiwanese tourists wounded.

The attackers fired at least 10 rounds at a group of tourists alighting from a bus outside the 16th-century red sandstone mosque in the old quarters of the city.

According to police, the attackers were fair complexioned and tall youth and were not wearing any masks on their face.

A man has been detained by police in connection with the shooting.

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