Commonwealth Games: Baton continues Wales journey

Norman Richards in 2014 and 1958 Image copyright RCT/Norman Richards
Image caption Norman Richards carried the baton in 1958 and is doing so again on Sunday

The Queen's baton will continue its journey around Wales on Sunday ahead of the Commonwealth Games after heavy rain failed to put a dampener on day one.

One of the baton bearers will be Norman Richards, 74, who first carried it before the 1958 Cardiff Games.

It will make several stops in Rhondda Cynon Taf including the Royal Mint in Llantrisant where a special coin will be pressed.

Saturday saw big crowds view the baton in Blaenau Gwent and Merthyr Tydfil.

The first stop on Sunday is the Royal Mint which will see Wales 400m hurdler Rhys Williams create a commemorative 50p coin.

It then heads to the Cynon Valley where Mr Richards, a former long jumper and triple jumper, will reprise his role of 56 years ago.

"I am so looking forward to once again having the huge honour of carrying the Queen's Baton Relay ahead of the Commonwealth Games," he said.


•Day two (25 May): Aberdare, Llandrindod Wells

•Day three: 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 was an enormous honour for me to be a part of it in 1958 and I will feel that same pride when I carry it once again in my home county borough of Rhondda Cynon Taf on 25 May.

"I have never, ever, forgotten that day and have told my family all about it many times over. My family will be out in force to see history repeating itself."

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

On day two the baton will be in Aberdare before heading to Llandrindod Wells in Powys.

Image copyright Commonwealth Game Wales
Image caption Sport Minister John Griffiths received the baton with officials of Commonwealth Games Wales

Baton bearers include archery twins Janette and Jeanette Howells from Pontypridd, who represented Wales in the 2010 Games in Delhi, and weightlifter Michaela Breeze.

The baton arrived in rain at Cardiff Airport on Saturday morning but that failed to stop crowds turning out to see it in Abertillery, Ebbw Vale, Tredegar and Merthyr Tydfil.

Former miner Joseph Price, 82, a survivor of the Six Bells mining disaster in Abertillery, was one of the baton bearers, as was Paralympic gold medal winning cyclist Mark Colbourne.

In Merthyr, members of the family of Welsh world champion boxer Howard Winstone, who won gold at the 1958 Games in Cardiff, were involved in the relay.

The baton will travel 731 miles (1,176km) in Wales over seven days visiting sights such as Snowdon's summit and Dylan Thomas's boathouse.

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

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