2014 baton relay route is unveiled
The international route for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Queen's Baton Relay has been unveiled.
The baton will travel to all 71 nations and territories of the Commonwealth during its 248-day journey, including India, Singapore, St Lucia and Canada, organisers said.
It will set off from Buckingham Palace on October 9, where the Queen will place a message to the athletes inside. From there, it will travel to Glasgow, 2014's host city, before embarking on a voyage around the world.
The first stop will be Delhi, which hosted the 2010 Commonwealth Games, and it will continue on through Asia, Oceania, Africa, North and South America, the Caribbean and Europe. The baton will eventually return to Scotland, making its way back to Glasgow for the opening ceremony of the Games on July 23, 2014.
It is expected to cover about 118,000 miles (190,000km) and will make history by becoming the first baton to visit Rwanda. The relay, a Commonwealth Games tradition, is designed to unite the two billion citizens of the Commonwealth in a celebration of sport, diversity and peace.
Organisers said the relay offers Glasgow and Scotland a "once-in-a-lifetime" opportunity to "shine" on the global stage. The International Sector Route announcement was made on Monday morning, on Commonwealth Day.
The baton will spend an average of one to four days in each nation, with an extended duration of seven days in Wales, two weeks in England and 40 days in Scotland.
It will be in Vanuatu, in the South Pacific, over Christmas, bring in the start of 2014 in Sierra Leone and celebrate St Andrew's Day - dedicated to the patron saint of Scotland - in New Zealand. The smallest island on the route is Nauru, also in the South Pacific.
The Commonwealth baton will spend four days on board RMS St Helena as it crosses the South Atlantic Ocean from South Africa to St Helena. It will be relayed overseas by Emirates, the official airline of the Queen's Baton Relay and a Glasgow 2014 partner. With less than 500 days to go until Glasgow hosts the event, the route was unveiled at the city's Emirates Arena, which will be a major venue for the Games.
Organisers will reveal the design of the baton, which is being specially made for Glasgow 2014, later this year.