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Olympic torch: Thousands meet flame in Leicester

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Media captionTwo young boys grabbed the Olympic torch as it made its way through Coventry

Large crowds welcomed the Olympic flame to Leicester after its journey from Coventry on day 45 of the torch relay.

Coventry Cathedral was an early stop. While in the city, two youngsters were foiled in an attempt to grab the torch.

Among the 135 torchbearers was Jim Redmond, who famously helped his injured son Derek finish the 1992 400m Olympic semi-final.

The flame also visited the final resting place of Diana, Princess of Wales, at Althorp House.

Despite wet weather, crowds up to six rows in depth packed the five-mile stretch of the A6 from Oadby to Leicester's Abbey Park, where the evening celebration took place.

One of the later torchbearers was Lucy Davies, a wheelchair user who stood up and walked for most of her relay leg.

While in Coventry at 07:28 BST a pair of young boys ran out of the crowd and snatched the flame when it was being carried by a group of runners.

Image caption The torch took to a canal boat for a trip at Foxton Locks

One runner wrestled it back and torch security officers ushered the children to the side of the road.

Police said the relay was not affected by the youngsters' ambush but warned of the dangers of running into the path of the torch and its convoy.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "Although there was no disruption to the relay, we'd like to remind people not to enter the security bubble.

"This is for their own safety as well as the torchbearer's - the convoy vehicles are constantly moving."

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Media captionNorthamptonshire's reception for the torch

Jim Redmond carried the torch in Kettering, evoking memories of the Barcelona Olympics when his son Derek suffered a hamstring injury and collapsed on the track. Determined to finish the race, he got up and hobbled around before his father came out of the stands to help.

Another of the torchbearers was 91-year-old table tennis champion Les D'Arcy , a retired school teacher and 12-times European and world title holder.

As well has his sporting achievements he was nominated for his community work and for service to Yorkshire sport and recreation.

The relay visited Rugby School, where it was paraded through the grounds. At lunchtime it stopped at Althorp House, the family home of Earl Spencer and the final resting place of Diana, Princess of Wales.

And the torch was later taken on a canal boat at Foxton Locks, a series of 10 locks on the Grand Union Canal.

The first torchbearer of the day was 18-year-old Ali Abdillahi , who was fostered by a family from Warwick when he came to the UK from Somalia as a 13-year-old asylum seeker and has recently signed for Coventry City Football Club's academy.

Triathlete Tim Don carried the torch at the City of Coventry Stadium, one of six venues around the country that will host the Olympic football tournament.

Don is the only Briton to have competed in all three Olympic triathlons since the event's inception at Sydney in 2000. His career highlights include winning the 2006 world title in Lausanne but he was passed over for selection for London 2012.

Other communities the relay visited on Monday included Rugby, Dunchurch, Northampton, Wellingborough, Isham, Kettering, Geddington and moved on to Corby, Dingley, Market Harborough, Lubenham, Foxton, Kibworth Harcourt, Oadby and finally Leicester.

In Abbey Park, crowds were entertained with music from Morning Parade - a troupe who provide a unique fusion of street performance, theatre and sport - and dance act Twist and Pulse.

A total of 8,000 people will carry the flame during its 8,000 mile, 70-day journey to the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in London on 27 July.

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