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27.04.2005 Sports News

Two-day Queen's Baton Relay kick-starts in Accra

By GNA

Accra, April 27, GNA - Eddie Blay, Chairman of Ghana Amateur Boxing Authority and a gold medallist at the 1962 Perth, Australia Commonwealth Games plus Mike Ahey who was recently inducted into the national Hall of Fame were among some high-profile personalities who toured with the Queen's Baton Relay in Accra on Wednesday.

The Baton, made up of gold and magnesium being carried by athletes on its 110,000-mile journey before arriving in Melbourne, Australia for the 2006 18th Commonwealth Games arrived in the country from war-ravaged Sierra Leone on Monday for a 72-hour stay.

It leaves Accra for Kyebi later Wednesday where Okyenhene, Amoatia Ofori Panyin is expected to lead the race.

The Queen's Baton Relay is a traditional event that heralds the Commonwealth Games. And for the first time it is expected to go through all the 71 Commonwealth nations before arriving in Melbourne, Australia, for the start of the games on March 15.

The 90cm-high device equipped with a GPS system and webcam, leaves Ghana for neighbouring Nigeria later Thursday.

Apart from Africa, the Baton would tour the Americas, the Caribbean's, Asia and Oceania.

Mr Yaw Osafo Maafo, Minister of Education and Sports and his Deputy Osei Bonsu Amoah, Albert Agbozo, Acting Chief Executive of the National Sports Council and Mr Benson Tongo Baba, President of the Ghana Olympic Committee participated in the relay at the Independence Square in Accra. More than 4,500 competitors from the 71-member nations are expected to participate in the friendly Games.

The Queen officially launched the relay from the forecourt of Buckingham Palace on March 14.

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