Birmingham Olympic hero Mark Lewis-Francis sprints across the city yesterday bearing the Commonwealth Games Queen's Baton.
The 22-year-old said he was delighted to bring the symbolic baton to his home city and spoke of his commitment to encourage young people to aim for success in athletics.
Lewis-Francis, who runs for Birchfield Harriers and won a gold medal in the 4x100 metre relay at the Athens games, said: "For me, it's all about the kids because they are the future and that's where we should be nourishing the sport."
The Queen's Baton will be taken by athletes to cities in all 71 Commonwealth nations and territories, ending up in Melbourne in time for the 2006 Commonwealth Games.
The baton, which is metal, features 71 flashing lights, and a webcam so people can track its progress over the internet, started its journey at Buckingham Palace and will be taken around the United Kingdom before going to Gambia in April.