Sailor Ben Ainslie begins torch relay

Olympic Torch
© PA Photos
Three-time Olympic sailing champion Ben Ainslie begins the London 2012 torch relay from Land's End.

Three-time Olympic champion Ben Ainslie has begun the London 2012 Olympic torch relay in Land's End this morning.

The 35-year-old is one of 8,000 torchbearers on the 8,000-mile circuit of the country that ends at the opening ceremony on July 27.

He said: "It's amazing.

"For me, growing up in this part of the world, in Cornwall, for the Olympic Torch to set off from here around the nation, is a fantastic moment for the UK, for London 2012. Very exciting."

Ainslie said that being the first torchbearer was more nerve wracking than competiting in the actual Games.

"Probably more nervous to be the first one here," he added.

"It's a great moment but it's also a great moment for our country to have the Olympics here and we are all very excited."

Ainslie passed the flame on to the second torchbearer - 18-year-old Anastassia Swallow from St Ives.

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