Mumbai, Sep 10 (IANS): The Queen's Baton Relay for the 2010 Commonwealth Games arrived here Friday noon to a tumultuous welcome by a large gathering of sports personalities, officials and enthusiastic youth. The Games are to be held in Delhi Oct 3-14.
Chief Minister Ashok Chavan received the baton which arrived by a boat from Karanje naval jetty in Uran, Navi Mumbai, to the Gateway of India in south Mumbai.
Speaking on the occasion, Chavan expressed the hope that the Games would spread a spirit of sportsmanship among the people and popularise sports among the masses.
Besides Chavan, Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, Sports Minister Suresh Shetty, union Minister for IT Gurudas Kamat and sports officials and members of the State Olympic Association were present on the occasion.
Opposite the Gateway of India, a colourful cultural programme by youth and students marked the arrival of the baton from Pune to Mumbai en route to Gujarat.
Among the prominent personalities present were Olympian Dhanraj Pillay, CWG chess champion Praveen Thipsay, Arjuna Award winners Kamlesh Mehta, Rachita Mistry, Joachim Carvalho, Adil Sumariwala, M.M. Somaiya, Dronacharya awardee Raghunandan Gokhale and chess champion Bhagyashree Thipsay.
The baton entered Maharshtra from Goa and went to Kolhapur and from there it went by road to Pune.
After the official function and the cultural program at the Gateway of India, the baton was taken to the Chowpatty promenade and then to the Mumbai University campus in south Mumbai.
After completing the Maharashtra itinerary, the baton relay is scheduled to travel to Daman & Diu Monday.