THE Olympic torch will blaze through Fareham and Gosport on its way to Portsmouth next summer.
Both towns have now been included in the London 2012 Olympic torch relay route.
The route was announced yesterday by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and includes Chichester, Bognor Regis and Petersfield.
On July 15 the torch will arrive in Fareham, before going to Gosport through Bridgemary.
It will then cross to Portsmouth for a big celebration in the city before leaving for Petersfield, Chichester and Bognor the next day.
Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage had campaigned for the town to be included on the route.
She said: ‘I’m really delighted.
‘They should take the torch to Portsmouth with a trip across on the Gosport Ferry.
‘It would set the scene for our area with the Spinnaker Tower and the naval base in the background.
‘The Olympic torch is so inspirational and we have so many big things happening in Gosport with sport, like the new leisure centre and Bridgemary School.’
Exact details of the route the torchbearers will take are still being worked out.
Gosport Borough Council hopes to be able to tie the opening of the town’s new leisure park with the torch’s arrival.
Youngsters from schools in Fareham celebrated the news by getting their hands on the official torch of the 1948 Olympic games yesterday.
The torch is being taken around the country, calling at places on the route.
The town’s mayor, Councillor Trevor Cartwright, said: ‘It is an honour for me to confirm that the Olympic flame will be coming to Fareham as part of its 8,000-mile journey to the Olympic Stadium in London.
‘It’s just fantastic. It’s such a good opportunity for Fareham.
‘To have the 1948 torch just adds a little bit more to it.
‘The kids are all excited as well.’