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Commonwealth Games 2002

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Monday, 26 November, 2001, 16:26 GMT
Royal relay run for jubilee games
Relay graphic
Prince Edward and a host of sporting stars have unveiled details of a baton relay around the British Isles to mark the Queen's golden jubilee and herald the 2002 Commonwealth Games.

The relay - equivalent to the carrying of the Olympic torch - is intended to spark "a massive street party" around the country ahead of next summer's games in Manchester.

The relay will pass through 500 towns, involve 5,000 runners and give more than 50 million people the opportunity to celebrate, organisers say.

Former sporting stars, including Sir Bobby Charlton, Barry McGuigan and Sir Roger Bannister, joined the Earl of Wessex to unveil the route at St James' Palace in London on Monday.

Sir Geoff Hurst, Faroukh Engineer, Barry McGuigan
Sporting veterans displayed the baton

Along the route, the relay will visit many of the UK's most famous sporting arenas.

Chairman of Manchester 2002 Charles Allen described the events as: "A massive street party lasting for 50 days... celebrating the diversity of the UK and the British Isles."

Prince Edward, who is president of the Commonwealth Games Federation, said the national relay will pass within a one-hour drive of 95% of the UK population.

High profile

Starting on 6 June, it will visit Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man, Guernsey, Jersey and England, calling at hundreds of communities and almost all English counties, as well as all the boroughs of Manchester.

Runners will carry a hi-tech baton, containing the Queen's opening address to the games which open on 25 July.

The baton, which emits a blade of blue pulsating light in time with the runner's heart beat, also incorporates a satellite-based global positioning system to pinpoint progress on the Commonwealth Games' website.

The relay will also travel by canal boat, ferry, tram, steam train, horse and carriage, black cab and double-decker bus.

Click here to go to Manchester
See also:

09 Nov 01 | England
Commonwealth smiles
21 Nov 01 | Country profiles
Quick guide: The Commonwealth
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