Queen’s Baton Relay reaches Shimla

Shimla, July 5 (Calcutta Tube) The Queen’s Baton Relay for the 2010 Commonwealth Games Monday reached Himachal Pradesh capital Shimla amid fanfare, an organiser said here.

The baton was received by Hamirpur MP and Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) president Anurag Thakur. It arrived from Dharamsala in Kangra district after passing through Hamirpur and Bilaspur districts.

‘It’s a proud moment for the people of the hill state to receive the baton,’ Thakur told IANS.

Vinod Kumar, joint secretary of the Himachal Pradesh Olympic Association (HPOA), said the baton would visit Solan and Sirmaur districts Tuesday. From Sirmaur, it would enter Uttarakhand after covering a distance of 560 km in the state.

‘International shooter Samresh Jung would receive the baton in Sirmaur district,’ he added.

The baton entered the state in Mehatpur town in Una district Sunday.

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 the 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 baton relay 2010 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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