Olympic torch travels from Plymouth to Exeter today

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Olympic torch travels from Plymouth to Exeter todayAP


The Olympic flame is being carried from Plymouth to Exeter today, on the second day of the torch relay ahead of the London 2012 Games.

During the day, the torch will be carried by 121 people, before an evening celebration at Exeter Cathedral.

Today's relay started in Plymouth just before 8am, before heading up the coast to towns including Modbury and Dartmouth.

The flame also makes a return to Torre Abbey, which it visited in 1948 when Torquay was the Olympic sailing venue.

The flame is being carried by members of the public who were nominated for their achievements, sporting contributions and community work. Olympians and other VIPs are also carrying the torch.

Each of the torchbearers runs with the flame for about 300m, before lighting the next bearer's torch.

Yesterday, large crowds gathered to see the first day's relay through Cornwall. It passed through towns and countryside and visited the Eden Project.

The day ended with an evening celebration on Plymouth Hoe.

The Daily Express reports that there was some controversy yesterday when police threw a spectator to the ground as he tried to take a photograph.

The middle aged man had been jogging behind torchbearer Eric Smith, 76, carrying a camera. Three officers surrounded him and one bundled him to the floor.

Mr Smith, a veteran airman and winner of the George medal, managed to keep the torch alight throughout.

He said: "I'd only just received the torch but suddenly became aware a gentleman was approaching from my left.

"He got quite close until a well-build policeman sort of rugby-tackled him and sent him sprawling.

"I heard the man saying, 'I was just trying to take a picture'. The man was quite tall and with me only being 5ft 7ins, he could have done me some harm had he wanted to.

"He had a camera in his hands but for all the police knew it could have been a knife or some other weapon.

"The police reacted in exactly the right way. I did hear afterwards that the police had apologised to him."

The torch will visit the four nations of the UK before being taken to the Olympic Stadium in Stratford on July 27 for the opening ceremony of the games.

It will travel through 1,019 cities, towns and villages and will pass landmarks like the Giant's Causeway and Stonehenge.

It will be carried by bearers, or taken in a convoy and will also be transported by boat, bicycle, tram and train.

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