Commonwealth Games: Queen's Baton Relay at Urdd Eisteddfod

Iwan Thomas Image copyright AP
Image caption Iwan Thomas has been carrying the Queen's baton at the Urdd eisteddfod

The Queen's Baton Relay is spending a third day in Wales where it has been carried by former athlete Iwan Thomas at a youth festival.

Thomas, the current 400m Commonwealth Games record holder, is at the Urdd Eisteddfod in Bala, Gwynedd.

Many young people are also carrying the baton after being chosen for their contribution to their community, Welsh life or sport.

Sunday saw the baton visit Rhondda Cynon Taf and Powys.

The relay is the curtain raiser to the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow which start on 23 July.

On Monday, the baton is spending the day at the Urdd Eisteddfod which Chris Jenkins, chief executive of the Commonwealth Games Council for Wales, has said was the "anchor point" for the entire relay in Wales.

The baton and its bearers were part of the eisteddfod opening ceremony.

The Urdd Eisteddfod is a touring Welsh language youth festival that attracts around 100,000 visitors each year.


•Day three (26 May): Urdd Eisteddfod, Bala

•Day four: Laugharne, Carmarthen, Ammanford, Llanelli

•Day five: St David's, Machynlleth

•Day six: Llanberis, Beaumaris, Menai Strait, Caernarfon

•Day seven: Rhyl, Moel Famau, Ruthin, Llandegla

It is also being taken around the eisteddfod field stopping off at some of the attractions.

Thomas, who has Olympic, Commonwealth Games and European championship medals to his name, is a bearer along with several young people aged between 12 and 21.

The baton arrived at Cardiff Airport on Saturday morning with crowds gathering in the rain to see it in Abertillery, Ebbw Vale, Tredegar and Merthyr Tydfil.

On Sunday it made several stops in Rhondda Cynon Taf, including the Royal Mint in Llantrisant where a commemorative coin was pressed, before heading to Rhondda Heritage Park near Pontypridd and Aberdare.

One of the baton bearers in Aberdare was 74-year-old Norman Richards, a former long jumper and triple jumper, who first carried it before the 1958 Cardiff Games.

Some of the most enthusiastic crowds so far turned out to see the baton in Llandrindod Wells in Powys on Sunday evening where it was carried by former athlete Kirsty Wade, a three-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist.

The baton will travel 731 miles (1,176km) in Wales over seven days visiting sights including the summit of Snowdon.

The baton tradition started before the Cardiff Games and has taken place in some form before every Games since.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Former miner and tour guide Graham Williams at Rhondda Heritage Park in Trehafod near Pontypridd

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