New Delhi's preparations for next year's Commonwealth Games have received a boost after the Queen praised the launch of the baton relay that will travel to the Indian capital via 70 countries and territories at Buckingham Palace in London last week.

The Queen has sent a congratulatory message to Suresh Kalmadi, the chairman of the Delhi organising committee, via officials at Buckingham Palace to say how much she enjoyed the event that was also attended by Pratibha Patil, the President of India.

The message said: "It was both a colourful and impressive event and I know that it was enjoyed by all who took part.

"It was certainly a wonderful way for Her Majesty and President Patil to mark the end of the President’s state visit to the United Kingdom."

The launch of the Queen’s Baton Relay, which traditionally flags off the countdown to the Games, was marked with vibrant ceremony marked by performances of Indian music and dance.

Commonwealth Games Federation President Mike Fennell has also praised the event.

He said: "It was certainly a good start to the countdown to October 2010 and I think it left a very good impression on all who attended and those who watched the ceremony on television."

In the past week, the baton has travelled through Britain covering Manchester, Birmingham and London, passing through the hands of top athletes, community leaders and school children among others.

Today it will travel to Twickenham, where England and Australia will Test match before 60,000 spectators, before moving on to Wales.

Article courtesy of Inside the Games.