Commonwealth baton visits Edinburgh Tattoo on final Scottish stop

Hannah Miley and Lynsey Sharp brought the baton to the castle.
Hannah Miley and Lynsey Sharp brought the baton to the castle.
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The Queen’s Baton Relay visited the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo on the final stop of its Scottish tour ahead of next year’s Commonwealth Games in Australia.

Team Scotland medallists Lynsey Sharp and Hannah Miley carried the baton down the Edinburgh Castle Esplanade and took the royal salute before the start of the show.

The baton is making a 142,915-mile (230,000km) journey over 388 days ahead of the Gold Coast 2018 event, travelling through Africa, the Americas, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia and Oceania.

It left Buckingham Palace in March carrying a message from the Queen and will arrive in Australia in December and travel through the country, finishing its journey at the Opening Ceremony on April 4.

Ms Sharp, who won Commonwealth Games silver in the 800m at Glasgow 2014, carried the baton first before passing it to her team mate.

She said: “It is a massive honour to carry the baton and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. I miss Edinburgh a lot. I grew up here going to the Tattoo and my school performed here so it is really special.”

She added: “We don’t get the opportunity to compete for Scotland very often so it makes being part of Team Scotland even more special and I love being part of that smaller even-tighter-knit team.”

Ms Miley, a double Commonwealth Games gold medallist in swimming, said: “I feel very proud and it is such a wonderful honour and I feel very lucky to have been chosen.

“I watched the Baton Relay for 2006, 2010 and for Glasgow in 2014 and for the athletes it signifies the start of the build-up for the Games.

“This is the first time I have taken part in the Baton Relay which makes it quite special and to be the last batonbearer is really cool.”

The baton made its first stop in Scotland on Tuesday in Glasgow, which hosted the last Commonwealth Games in 2014, and has travelled around Scotland over the past five days.

Earlier on Saturday it joined athletes past and present for a celebration lap of the Grangemouth Stadium track at the Scottish Senior Athletics Championships which is a selection event for Gold Coast 2018.

It then hit the beach at Portobello in Edinburgh for a showcase of beach volleyball, which will make its Commonwealth Games debut in Gold Coast next year.

Paul Bush, chairman of Commonwealth Games Scotland, said: “It is great to see the Queen’s Baton Relay making such an impact up and down the country, with so many people getting the opportunity to touch the Gold Coast 2018 baton on its global journey.

“The reception for our Team Scotland athletes, not to mention our mascot Clyde, has been quite overwhelming and hopefully this wave of support will continue to build, up to next year’s Commonwealth Games.”

Designed for each Games by the host nation, the 2018 Queen’s Baton has a distinctive loop design and has been made using macadamia wood and reclaimed plastic, sourced from Gold Coast waterways.

The baton will now head to Northern Ireland.