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Games flame arrives.

Olympic sailing champ Ben Ainslie yesterday said kicking off the London 2012 torch relay was almost as good as winning gold.

Ben, 35, who will be bidding to win his fourth gold medal at the Games, said he was honoured to be the first runner to carry the torch as it began its 8000-mile journey around the UK.

Fresh from his sixth world title victory, he was up early to complete the first leg of the relay at Land's End in Cornwall.

He walked his 300m stretch, pausing along the way to let the crowds take photos and touch the torch.

He said: "I wanted to give everyone the chance to feel part of it. It was an amazing moment, right up there with winning gold."

The torch relay reaches Scotland on June 8.

CAPTION(S):

GOOD AS GOLD Ben
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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:May 20, 2012
Words:140
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