IOA decides to stage Queen’s Baton Rally,minus the rally

Senior IOA officials met in New Delhi on Thursday and decided to go ahead with the Baton Relay on the insistence of the organising committee.

Written by Mihir Vasavda | Published:October 4, 2013 4:19 am

After much dilly-dallying,the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has decided that the Queen’s Baton Relay will take place as planned,albeit minus the ‘rally’ itself.

Senior IOA officials met in New Delhi on Thursday and decided to go ahead with the Baton Relay on the insistence of the organising committee of next year’s Commonwealth Games. As originally scheduled,the Baton will reach Delhi on October 11 and will remain in the Capital till October 13.

However,the event will now take place without the usual ceremony of prominent sportspersons running with the baton in a relay. Keeping in mind the constraints of providing security arrangements due to Dussehra,the IOA has decided to keep the Relay a low-key affair.

IOA acting president Vijay Kumar Malhotra said that since the organisers had planned the schedule of the rally much in advance,it would have been unfair to postpone it. “The organising committee won’t be revising the schedule as it was planned much in advance. Hence,it was decided that we will go ahead as scheduled. But we have decided not to have an elaborate outdoor programme,since providing security is a problem,” Malhotra said after the meeting,which was also attended by IOA secretary general Randhir Singh.

The Queen’s Baton Relay will be launched on October 9 at Buckingham Palace,London. Delhi will be its first international stop,as the host of the previous CWG in 2010. After arrival on October 11,the baton will travel to Agra where the Uttar Pradesh Government and the UP state Olympic body will host a function at the Taj Mahal on October 12. It will then return to Delhi,where QBR-related events will be held on October 13 before its departure for Dhaka the next day. “We will prepare a detailed plan soon after consultation with the Delhi police and the government,” Malhotra said.

Proposal rejected

The IOA had initially expressed its inability to host next week’s event citing lack of security due to the festive season. Malhotra had written a letter to the Glasgow 2014 organising committee last week,requesting them to postpone the event. However,they rejected the proposal,saying that the planning had been done months in advance.

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