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2022 Commonwealth Games Baton relay begins journey to 72 countries
Baton bearer Britain's Kadeena Cox, who won two gold medals at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games the baton from Britain's Queen Elizabeth II at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Quee Relay event outside Buckingham Palace in London, Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021. The city of Birmingham will host the 2022 Commonwealth Games. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

2022 Commonwealth Games Baton relay begins journey to 72 countries

… arrives Nigeria Oct 16

The 2022 Commonwealth Games baton relay formally known as Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay is set to arrive Nigeria on October 16, 2021.

The baton began its 90,000-mile (145,000 kilometer) journey around the world on Thursday when the Queen Elizabeth II presided over the launch of the baton relay for next year’s Commonwealth Games in the central England city of Birmingham.

The 95-year-old monarch handed the baton for what are often referred to as the “friendly games” to four-time Paralympic gold medallist Kadeena Cox, who is fresh from winning two events in Tokyo.

Cox, 30, took the baton on a brief journey around the nearby Queen Victoria Memorial in central London before handing it to another competitor.

The Commonwealth Games, formerly known as the Empire Games, are held every four years and involve mostly countries and territories with former colonial ties to Britain, including Australia, Canada, India and South Africa.

Flying out from Birmingham Airport, the baton will first stop on the east Mediterranean island nation of Cyprus on Oct. 9 and a week later it arrives Africa, with Nigeria as the first point of call.

The relay, which will involve 7,500 baton bearers, will go through 72 nations and territories of the Commonwealth over 294 days and will return to Birmingham for the opening ceremony on July 28.

The baton will carry hi-tech gadgets, including a 360-degree camera and atmospheric sensors which use laser technology to analyze environmental conditions. It will also carry a message from the queen to be read out loud at the opening ceremony.

Organizers said that to reduce the relay’s carbon footprint, the baton will travel almost half the distance of the one that hopped the planet before the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in Australia.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was London mayor at the time of the Olympic Games in the city in 2012, enthused about next year’s Commonwealth gathering on what will be the queen’s platinum anniversary.

“The U.K. is honoured to host these games in the brilliant city of Birmingham, bringing together 72 nations and territories from across the globe & marking a year of pride and celebration for this country,” he said in a tweet.

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