Scotland Wales Northern Ireland

You are in: Other Sports  
[an error occurred while processing this directive] Thursday, 6 December, 2001, 12:42 GMT
Record relay to start Games
Moses Kiptanui with the new high-tech Commonwealth Games baton
Moses Kiptanui gets to grips with the baton
The 2002 Commonwealth Games is set to break records before it even begins next year with 21 countries involved in the Queen's Jubilee Baton Relay.

The baton begins its epic journey from Buckingham Palace on 11 March, Commonwealth Day, launched to coincide with celebrations marking HM The Queen's 50th year on the throne.

The first destination is Ottawa in Canada, and from there the baton will travel to five other continents over 86 days.

It will take in several Caribbean nations before moving to Africa, then Australia and other Oceanic countries, and then Asia.

The baton will return to the United Kingdom on 6 June, ready for the start of the games in Manchester on 25 July.

In Kenya we have more than 300 athletes running so it is difficult for me to say I will be there
Moses Kiptanui
"It will be the most extensive relay ever staged and symbolises a bringing together of the world through sport," said chairman of the Commonwealth Games Federation Michael Fennell.

"The Commonwealth Games and the Olympic Games are the only two multi-sport events encompassing all regions of the world."

The baton will be flown to all relay countries where local communities will organise a range of activities to showcase their country, culture and athletes.


Olympic, world and national champions such as Moses Kiptanui, Jonathan Edwards, Katharine Merry, Steve Backley, Ian Thorpe, Cathy Freeman, Ato Boldon and Simon Whitfield are among those set to take part.

The baton itself is a high-tech instrument which measures the athlete's heart rate and projects it "in blades of pulsating light".

Kenyan steeplechaser Kiptanui, the three-times world champion, got to grips with the baton at a launch in London on Wednesday.

He also took the time to tell BBC Sport Online about his preparations for Manchester.

HRH Prince Edward
Prince Edward: President of the Commonwealth Games
"It's still a long way off, so it is too early for me to say that I am preparing for the Commonwealth Games", said Kiptanui.

In fact the Kenyan is not taking it for granted that he will definitely be a part of the Games, since he has to go through trials in June.

"Because I am retiring at the end of next year I feel it would be good for me to win a medal at the Commonwealth Games.

"But it depends on the trials. In Kenya we have more than 300 athletes running so it is difficult for me to say I will be there.

"It's not like in this country where there are maybe 10 long-distance runners. In Kenya it is very competitive.

"We hope we are going to send a very strong team and I would like to be a part of that strong team. Everyone is trying to be there."

Kiptanui has already begun making plans for his retirement.

"This is my 12th year now. I need to retire", he said.

"I want to run but the training is getting very painful and also I need to do other things in life apart from running.

"Right now I am coaching some athletes and from next year I am going to manage some athletes."

Director of the Queen's Jubilee Baton Relay Di Henry
"The baton will travel to 21 Commonwealth countries over 87 days"
See also:

27 Nov 01 |  Other Sports
British baton to celebrate Jubilee
21 Nov 01 |  Other Sports
Games buoyed by ticket demand
04 Jul 01 |  SOL
Games show hits the road
07 Mar 01 |  Other Sports
Commonwealth chiefs want Beckham
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Other Sports stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Other Sports stories

^^ Back to top