Rousing reception accorded to QBR

Kochi: A rousing reception was accorded to
the Queen`s Baton Relay, one of the greatest traditions of the
Commonwealth Games, when it was brought to the Maharaja`s
College ground here for the rally.

Despite intermittent rains, a large crowd of sports
enthusiasts had assembled at the ground to have a glimpse of
the baton, which was brought to Kochi from Union Territory of
Lakshadweep, yesterday.

Ernakulam District collector, Dr M Beena, handed over the
baton to three olympians-footballer O Chandrasekhar, T C
Yohannan and Shiny Wilson inside the ground.

The trio then handed it over to the Kerala Sports
Minister, M Vijayakumar, in track suit, and accompanied by
Transport minister Jose Thettayil, it was taken round the

At about 9.15 AM the convoy carrying the baton left the
ground for its first stop-over at Southern Naval Command at
Willingdon Island.

Kerala fisheries minister, S Sarma and Kochi Corporation
Mayor, Prof Mercy Williams were among those present at the

At the Naval base, the QBR was accorded a befitting
reception led by Vice Admiral K N sushil, Flag Officer
Commanding in Chief, Southern Naval Command.

International and national level sportspersons from the
Indian Navy, Naval personnel in uniform and scores of students
from Navy children school had lined up on either side of the
road, cheering as the baton passed them.

Earlier, as the baton relay reached the naval premises it
was received by Bibu Mathew, Chief Petty Officer, a bronze
medalist at the Asian Athletic championship in Triple Jump.

After that the baton was then handed over as a relay, by
several prominent sports personalities from the Navy, which
included among others Shijas P Mohammed Master Chief Petty
Officer, who was the Captain of the National volleyball team,
L K J Singh, Petty Officer, bronze medalist in Kayaking in
Asian championship and Naresh Yadav, Petty Officer, gold
medalist in athletics at Asian Grand Prix.

Former Lieutenant Commander K George, aged 70 years, a
veteran navy athlete finally handed over the baton to Vice
Admiral Sushil.

The Admiral then handed over the baton to Shubhangi
Swaroop, National champion in Taekwondo and a student of Navy
Children School as well as Arjun Chaudhury, Kerala State team
basketball player and a student of Kendriya Vidyalya.

The Games baton was then handed over by these young
athletes to the Relay team commander for its onward progress.

The QBR will culminate this evening at the Rajiv Gandhi
Indoor stadium here.



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