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Baton's journey almost over

14 Mar 06 02:10
Sharelle McMahon celebrates with staff and volunteers after carrying the Queen's Baton through the Athlete's Village 

Netball captain Sharelle McMahon
became part of the Queen's Baton
Relay when she carried the Baton
through the Athletes' Village.

Sprinter Lauren Hewitt has been given the honour of delivering the Queen's Baton to its penultimate destination at a free city party in Melbourne.

Around 20,000 people lined city streets to see Hewitt hold the baton aloft on the giant stage as confetti filled the air to welcome the Baton to the host city.

"I felt I was getting lifted by the crowd," Hewitt said after her run.

"I was very proud to have the opportunity to have the Baton and see how many Melburnians are here to support it."

The Queen's Baton Relay earlier made its way through the Athletes' Village and will finish its epic 180,000km journey across the 71 Commonwealth nations at the spectacular Games Opening Ceremony.

Australian Squash player Amelia Pittock and Netball captain Sharelle McMahon carried the Baton through the Village.

"That was amazing,” exclaimed Pittock at the conclusion of her leg. “I got told yesterday that I would do it and all my family and friends got the chance to come up because I'm from Melbourne.”

“A lot of athletes and volunteers were lining the path, so that was great. It was nice to have everyone out there and having a cheer along as we ran," McMahon said.

The 90cm, 1.5kg Baton has been carried on an epic journey across continents and oceans, from Buckingham Palace to the Opening Ceremony, and carries Her Majesty's message on a computer memory chip.

The baton's day also included a ride onboard a tram and a visit to the elephant enclosure at Melbourne Zoo.

Organisers continue to keep the Baton's journey to the Opening Ceremony under wraps, and the identity of who will hand the Baton to the Queen remains a closely guarded secret.

For more information on the Baton, visit the Queen's Baton Relay section of this Website.

For more information on things to see and do in Melbourne, including the Melbourne Zoo, visit the Experience Melbourne section of this Website.

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