Commonwealth and Olympic gold medallist to help launch the Glasgow 2014 Queen’s Baton Relay at Buckingham Palace
Allan Wells is to play a part in the launch of the Glasgow 2014 Queen’s Baton Relay at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday.
The former sprinter, Scotland’s most successful Commonwealth Games athlete and Olympic 100m gold medallist, will be the first athlete to receive the baton from Her Majesty the Queen to start it on its journey around the 70 nations and territories of the Commonwealth.
“As the final runner of the Queen’s Baton Relay at the last Commonwealth Games on Scottish soil in Edinburgh in 1986, the baton and what it symbolises is incredibly special for me,” commented Wells.
“It is a real honour for me to now be named as the first batonbearer for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.”
He added: “To be invited to take part in the ceremony at Buckingham Palace and begin the baton’s epic journey around the Commonwealth is a personal highlight for me and I look forward to following the journey of the baton until its return at the Opening Ceremony next July.”
Wednesday’s ceremony will be attended by Commonwealth and Games dignitaries and broadcast live on BBC One. Cyclist Sir Chris Hoy, six-time Olympic gold medallist and double Commonwealth gold medallist, will be the baton’s special escort as it makes the processional journey down The Mall, accompanied by pipers to the ceremony itself.
The Queen’s Baton Relay has been the curtain raiser to the Commonwealth Games ever since the 1958 Games in Cardiff. The Glasgow 2014 baton has been specially-designed for next year’s Games in Scotland, with the titanium, wood and granite object created to symbolise Glasgow and Scotland’s culture, history and innovation by combining leading-edge technology with traditional skills and craft. The Queen will place her message within it, which she will then read out at the Opening Ceremony of the Games.
The Baton Relay had to be redrawn recently with the confirmation that Gambia had decided to withdraw from the Commonwealth, cutting the number of nations eligible to compete in Glasgow 2014 to 70.
The West African nation’s athletes include UK-born and based Nusrat Ceesay, who switched nationalities in 2011. With a 400m hurdles PB of 57.24 set last year, Glasgow would have represented the 33-year-old’s best chance of international honours.
» To follow the baton visit glasgow2014.com/batonrelay