Olympic torch: Swimmer Mark Foster carries flame

  • 6 July 2012
  • From the section UK
Media captionMark Foster said the experience "blew him away"

Five-time Olympian Mark Foster carried the flame in Southend, where he began his swimming career, on day 49 of the torch relay.

Foster, one of 138 torchbearers on Friday, won the world championship six times and is the short course 50m freestyle world record holder.

Along the 117-mile route from Ipswich to Chelmsford, the flame visited the London 2012 mountain bike venue.

Later in the day there was confusion when a torchbearer was bypassed.

Hannah Aygeman-Prempeh was due to carry the flame in her home town of Basildon, Essex, but the preceding torchbearer ran past her.

Large crowds meant the mistake went unnoticed until he reached the next torchbearer.

A spokesman for London 2012 said the 24-year-old, who was nominated for her charity work, would be able to join the relay on Saturday when the relay travels from Chelmsford to Cambridge .

He said: "During the excitement of Torchbearer 111's slot, he sprinted past Torchbearer 112. We have offered Torchbearer 112 a place to carry the flame on tomorrow's relay. We will also take care of her and her family's transport to ensure she still gets her moment to shine."

Image caption Dan Jarvis carried the torch at Hadleigh Farm, the site of the London 2012 mountain biking contest.

The day began at 06:37 BST at Christchurch Mansion House, with the flame being carried by promising young athlete Emily Rogers, a member of the West Suffolk Athletics Club who has had success at Suffolk county level and in the English schools competition.

She handed it over to Paralympian Kevin Curtis, who won a sailing gold at the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games. He also won gold at the World Disabled Sailing Championships in Barcelona.

Franklyn Keith Musto , a British sailor who won silver in the Flying Dutchman class at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo carried the flame in Colchester.

Just under four hours later Foster, who led Team GB into the opening ceremony at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, began his stint with the flame when the relay travelled along Southend seafront.

In the afternoon, mountain biking commentator Dan Jarvis carried the flame by bicycle at the London 2012 Olympic mountain bike course at Hadleigh Farm .

He said it was "fantastic" but he experienced "sheer terror keeping a grip on the torch" which he had to carry in one hand while riding with the other.

Other torchbearers included Paul Mears, the father of British diver Chris Mears.

In 2009, Mr Mears maintained a bedside vigil, together with his wife Katy, when Chris suffered a serious training accident while competing for Team GB at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival in Sydney.

Chris was placed in intensive care and diagnosed with a ruptured spleen. He has made a full recovery and will compete at the 2012 Games in the 3m Springboard and 3m Synchro with Nick Robinson-Baker.

Media captionJohn Bowman ran in memory of his wife, Kirste, who died of cancer

The last torchbearer of the day was John Bowman, from Little Dunmow, who ran in memory of his late wife, Kirste, who was originally selected to take part in the relay.

Mrs Bowman was chosen for her dedication to marathon running and her fundraising for breast cancer research charities, despite suffering from breast cancer herself.

At Hylands House site, evening entertainment came from dance troupe Morning Parade 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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