Top Indian sportspersons and officials, including IOA acting chief Vijay Kumar Malhotra, gave a ceremonial reception to the Queen’s Baton of the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games as it arrived at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi on Friday night.
The Queen’s Baton Relay arrived in India following a grand launch by Queen Elizabeth II — the Head of the Commonwealth — at Buckingham Palace in London on October 9.
The Baton for the 2014 Games, to be held in the Scottish city of Glasgow from July 23 to August 3 next year, arrived at its first international destination ton Friday as, under protocol, it will have to be first taken to the host country of the previous Games. It arrived at the IGI Airport at around 8:15 pm via Dubai in an Emirates flight.
The Baton, which will stay in India for two days (October 12-13), will not, however, be taken in a relay by sportspersons, as is done normally, following IOA’s decision to curtail the events here as there will not be adequate security arrangements in view of the Dessehra festival.
Malhotra received the Baton from 2014 Glasgow Organising Committee Vice-Chair and Commonwealth Games Federation Honorary Secretary Louise Martin before being handed to the Indian sportspersons present at the reception.
Other Indian officials who were present include senior IOA officials GS Mander and S Reghunathan as well as Indian Weightlifting Federation Secretary General Sahdev Yadav.
Mander and Reghunathan have been entrusted with the job of the smooth conduct of the QBR in Agra and New Delhi.
Sportspersons who were present to receive the Baton include discus thrower Krishna Poonia, weightlifter Kutulu Ravi Kumar, shooter Samresh Jung and wrestlers Yogeshwar Dutt, Ravinder Singh and Anil Kumar — all of whom have won gold medals in the 2010 Delhi CWG.
The IOA had restricted the sportspersons for the event to only the CWG medal winners. It had invited around 15 sportspersons for the events in the Capital on October 12 and 13.
(With inputs from agencies)