London: The 2012 London Olympics organisers unveiled Wednesday the golden torch that thousands of runners will use to carry the Olympic flame 8,000 miles to the opening ceremony.
The flame will burn from a triangular aluminium tube made of a mesh stamped with 8,000 holes -- one to represent each torchbearer.
The torch's shape symbolises the three times that London has staged the Games, in 1908, 1948 and 2012.
The torch, unveiled at London's Saint Pancras train station, has been created by designers Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby.
London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe said: "The torch that carries the Olympic flame during the Olympic torch relay is one of the most recognisable and significant symbols of an Olympic Games.”
"Members of the public right across the UK are busy nominating inspiring people to be torchbearers and I am thrilled we have a beautifully-designed, engineered and crafted torch for them to carry.”
"Integral to the design are the 8,000 circles, a lasting representation of the torchbearer stories of personal achievement or contribution to their local community that will be showcased with every step of the relay."
The torch's journey will start in Land's End, the southwesterly tip of mainland Britain, and travel as far as the outer reaches of Scotland.
The flame will arrive from Greece on May 18, 2012 and the relay will continue for 70 days until the opening ceremony of the Games on July 27, 2012.
Organisers want many of the torchbearers to be aged 12 to 24.
There will be no international relay after the chaos caused by human rights protesters demonstrating against China's hosting of the 2008 Games, although the relay may incorporate a stop in Dublin.
First Published: Wednesday, June 08, 2011, 19:17