London 2012: Paloma Faith, Phillips Idowu and Fabrice Muamba carry Olympic Flame on first day in London

The Olympic Torch has completed the first full day of its journey around London.

The Flame is staying overnight in Waltham Forest, and tomorrow morning will start its day in Redbridge, before heading to Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Bexley.

Thousands of people lined the streets today to welcome the Torch throughout Greenwich, Newham, Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Waltham Forest.

Famous names to carry the Flame included footballer Fabrice Muamba, who was the last torchbearer of the day, musicians Dizzee Rascal and Paloma Faith, and Olympians Phillips Idowu and Tessa Sanderson-White.

The Flame started its journey in Greenwich, visiting the Meridian Line before being taken around the Cutty Sark. It was then taken to the Woolwich Live Site, and also up onto the roof of The O2.


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The Torch was taken to Newham on the Woolwich Ferry. Torchbearers in Newham included 84-year-old Ron Cooper, who competed in boxing at the 1948 Olympic Games in London.

Samuel Bernahu carried the Flame into the Mayor’s Show at Newham. Songstress Paloma Faith, who was celebrating her birthday, took the Flame on the stage and carried it out of Central Park, where she passed it to Sheikh Sheikh, who was nominated for his success as a wheelchair racer following a long period of rehabilitation after for a serious spinal injury sustained in a road traffic accident.

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Phillips Idowu carried the Flame to the Samsung shop at Westfield Shopping Centre.

Saif Rehmam, who owns Today’s Trend clothes shop on High Street North in East Ham, closed his shop for the day so he could watch the Torch relay. He was watching the Olympic Torch on High Street North.

He said: “Being in London today is a very beautiful thing, it’s really good weather and people are celebrating in London. It’s been a great show today. London in 2012 is the place to be and it’s going to be an amazing one.

“I live in Newham and it’s a beauty today. The people are looking beautiful and all kinds of people have come to watch this, it’s amazing.

“This is what it’s all about, people are getting to see and are celebrating all different kinds of cultures because London is the capital of the world.”

Following its journey through Newham the Flame went through Tower Hamlets, where it visited an event at Stepney Green Park. It was taken on stage by Tahmina Begum, who the winner of the Chelsea Community Sports Award and became the first qualified Bangladeshi female football referee.

Jenny Haynes turned out to watch her colleague Brad Wilson take the torch up Osborn Street, Whitechapel. Mrs Haynes, a design and technology teacher at Haggerston School, was accompanied by her three-year-old son Elijah as they watched the Flame make its way through the borough.

She said: “It was lovely, and we really enjoyed the atmosphere of the Torch finally arriving in London.

“I wasn’t expecting it to be quite sl exciting, but it was really good. Elijah has been particularly excited about all the flags!

“It’s going to be nice to have lots of different people around London and the buzz surrounding the Olympics.”

The Flame was carried in Commercial Street by Dizzee Rascal, before making its way to Hackney, where it went to Clissold Park and to Hackney Town Hall.

The Torch’s final destination was Waltham Forest, where the final torchbearer of the day was Fabrice Muamba. He lit the cauldron on the stage at the celebration in Chestnuts Field.

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