Bangalore leg of the Queen’s Baton Relay, Commonwealth Games

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The Queen’s Baton Relay (QBR) for the Oct 3-14 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi reached Bangalore yesterday, from Mysore. It entered Karnataka on Wednesday from Tamil Nadu.

Graced with the presence of many eminent sportspersons from the state, the Queen’s Baton was given a warm welcome at the Kanteerava Stadium, where Sports Minister Gulihatti D Shekar received an album containing special postal covers.

Amongst those who participated in the relay were Commonwealth Games (CWG) badminton gold medallist and All-England champion Prakash Padukone, Karnataka’s first Olympian Kenneth Powell, Dronacharya Award winning boxer Captain. M. Venu. Asian Games hockey gold medalist Sabu Varkey and Arjuna Awardees Chetan Baboor (table tennis), Nisha Millet (swimming), Reeth Abraham (athletics) and Ashwini Nachappa (athletics) were also seen participating in the event.

In the absence of Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa, sports minister Goolihatti Shekhar and Karnataka Olympic Association president K Govindraj received the Baton from Raj Kadyan, additional director general in charge of the QBR, which was later handed over to Prakash Padukone and Kenneth Powell for the relay. While the Commonwealth this time has been in news for all the wrong reasons, some of these eminent sports personalities seem to be waiting for the game with high hopes, expecting a smooth flow during the main event. “This experience is definitely memorable, for it’s a great honor to receive the baton. We just hope that the game goes on in the right manner this time, without any kind of outside hindrance during the Commonwealth,” said the CWG badminton gold medal winner Padukone.

His thoughts were echoed by Arjuna Awardee Mrs. Elvera Britto, and a former President of Karnataka State Women’s Hockey Association. “It’s not only a matter of honor for the State, but also every Bangaloreans. It’s a matter of great pride for the sportspersons too, to actually be a part of something as prestigious as this”. “It’s disappointing that the commonwealth is loomed under so much of misunderstanding, and it’s every politicians who are trying to make the most of it. Instead, this should be the time to focus on the sportspersons who will be taking part in the event,” said Britto. She added, “I think it’s a sad plight that no attention is given to the athletes, and much on the focus on the corrupt politicians. It discourages me, and all those like me who has given everything for the love of sports”. “I hope that all the athletes taking part in the Commonwealth this time give their best shot, and put up a great show.”

On the other hand, Arjuna Awardee and India’s ace hockey goalkeeper Ashish Ballal, feels that the performance by the athletes during the CWG should overshadow all controversies. “I am hoping for a rocking show during the final game, for that’s the only thing that can overshadow the controversies that has taken aback many enthusiastic sports lovers from the country,” said Ballal. “But more than anything,” added Ballal “it’s a matter of great pride for sports lovers and the whole of the city that the Baton has come to Bangalore, and they have given an opportunity to be a part of it.”

The baton finally returned to the Kanteerava stadium after a trip to the Vidhana Soudha, with star athletes of the past Ashwini Nachappa and Reeth Abraham shouldering the responsibility. The baton will now move to Hasan, then to Mangalore and Karwar before entering Goa. A cultural programme was also organised at the indoor stadium.


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This post was submitted by Harshit Agrawal.

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