30 Oct 2009

Queen's baton relay starts in London

8:31 am on 30 October 2009

President Pratibha Patil of India and Queen Elizabeth II have launched the baton relay for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

The Queen handed over the baton to President Patil in a ceremony outside Buckingham Palace.

The event was shown live on several television channels in India.

The baton contains a message to the athletes from the Queen in her role as head of the Commonwealth. It will travel almost 200,000km to reach the Indian capital in time for the opening ceremony on 3 October, 2010.

Fourteen athletes, including 1983 World Cup cricket captain Kapil Dev, ran with the baton around the Victoria Memorial on The Mall.

The relay run was started by India's only Olympic Gold medallist, shooter Abhinav Bindra.

The BBC reports there are concerns that construction work at many of the venues for the Games is delayed and may not be ready in time.