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Commonwealth Games 2002

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Monday, 8 October, 2001, 16:34 GMT 17:34 UK
Countdown to games starts at Palace
The Queen
The Queen's baton will be carried by 5,000 runners
The Queen tested her pulse rate on Monday when she was handed a hi-tech baton designed for the 2002 Golden Jubilee Commonwealth Games.

"How extraordinary," she said as a pulsating blue light flashed the beat of her heart at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

The aluminium baton will be relayed through 22 Commonwealth countries and the UK on its way to the Manchester Games next year.

It is fitted with sensors to detect and monitor the runner's pulse, which is then transformed into a blade of blue light.

Global journey

Originally, the Queen was to be presented with the baton, which contains her opening address to the games, in Australia but the trip was postponed after the US terrorist attacks.

The Queen's Jubilee Baton Relay will begin at the palace on Commonwealth Day, 11 March, 2002 and complete its global journey on 25 July at the start of the Games.

The relay will take more than 86 days through Commonwealth countries on its way back to the UK where it will cover 5,000 miles during 50 days.

commonwealth games 2002 logo
The games run for 11 days in summer 2002

The baton, carried by 5,000 runners averaging 100 runners a day, will travel within one hour's drive of 95% of the UK population.

Record-breaking Olympian Sir Steven Redgrave said: "I know without a doubt that all the people I rode with contributed to my five gold medals.

"Without them it wouldn't have been possible for me to have achieved what I have.

"The Queen's Jubilee Baton Relay is a team event on an even larger scale, but from my experience, I know it will be down to the individuals taking part who will make it the great success that I know it will be."

'Affordable games'

Tickets for the Golden Jubilee games have gone on sale, with half the tickets for Manchester 2002 priced at 10 or less, making the event the "affordable games".

Application forms are available nationally at Asda, Ticketmaster outlets, BBC radio stations and tourist information centres.

The application form is also available on the Games' official website.

The first order form application phase closes on 15 November.

Click here to go to BBC Manchester Online
See also:

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03 Apr 01 | UK Politics
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20 Mar 01 | Athletics
No more money for Manchester
08 Mar 01 | Athletics
Banks dismisses stadium plans
01 Mar 01 | Athletics
Athletics chiefs shrug off snub
11 Dec 00 | AudioVideo
2002 Games confusion
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