Commonwealth Games: Ex-Olympian Iwan Thomas parades Queen's baton

Iwan Thomas with the baton Former Commonwealth champion Iwan Thomas was joined by young people as bearers of the Queen's baton

Former Olympic athlete Iwan Thomas was greeted by cheering crowds as he carried the Queen's baton at a youth festival during its third day in Wales.

Sun finally greeted the relay at the Urdd Eisteddfod in Bala, Gwynedd, after rain soaked baton bearers over the weekend in south Wales and Powys.

Thomas, the current 400m Commonwealth Games record holder, handed the baton on to a number of young people.

The baton now heads to Carmarthenshire, visiting Dylan Thomas's writing shed.

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

On Monday, the baton spent the day at the Urdd Eisteddfod, a touring Welsh language youth festival that attracts around 100,000 visitors each year.

The baton and its bearers - who were chosen for their contribution to their community, Welsh life or sport - were part of the eisteddfod opening ceremony.

They were then cheered and clapped around the Urdd's maes (field) by the watching crowd.

Thomas, who has Olympic, Commonwealth Games and European championship medals to his name, said he was proud and honoured to be a part of the relay.

"I was part of the Olympic Torch Relay and I think the Commonwealth Games this summer is going to be fantastic, and hopefully me being here today can help add a bit of excitement," he said,

Line break

BATON RELAY ROUTE IN WALES

• 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

Line break

The baton is now heading back south where it will tour around Carmarthenshire on Tuesday.

The relay will start at Dylan Thomas's former writing shed at Laugharne as part of events taking place in 2014 to mark 100 years since the birth of the poet. It will also take in Carmarthen Leisure Centre, Ammanford Leisure Centre, Llanelli and Carmarthen.

The baton arrived at Cardiff Airport on Saturday morning and was greeted in the rain by crowds in Abertillery, Ebbw Vale, Tredegar and Merthyr Tydfil.

On Sunday it visited several places in Rhondda Cynon Taf, before heading to Llandrindod Wells in Powys in the evening.

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 1958 Cardiff Games and has taken place in some form before every Games since.

Baton bearers Dafydd Rees, Erin Williams and Huw Rowlands Dafydd Rees, Erin Williams and Huw Rowlands carried the baton at the Urdd

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Queen's Baton Relay

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