Portsmouth will welcome the Olympic torch on July 15

111819_OLYMPIC_VICTORY_18/05/11''(l-r) Sir Keith Mills, John Jenkins MBE, Linvoy Primus and Gerald Vernon-Jackson.'' Picture: Allan Hutchings (111819-925)
111819_OLYMPIC_VICTORY_18/05/11''(l-r) Sir Keith Mills, John Jenkins MBE, Linvoy Primus and Gerald Vernon-Jackson.'' Picture: Allan Hutchings (111819-925)
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OLYMPIC fever will sweep Portsmouth with the London 2012 Olympic torch relay coming to the city.

Portsmouth is one of 74 locations announced today that will welcome the Olympic Flame.

Map showing the first locations confirmed on the London 2012 Olympic Torch relay route for the South East

Map showing the first locations confirmed on the London 2012 Olympic Torch relay route for the South East

The flame will arrive from Greece on May 18 next year and will be carried by 8,000 torchbearers across the UK before being taken to the Olympic Stadium in London on 27 July.

The tour begins in Land’s End, Cornwall, on the morning of Saturday, May 19 next year.

During its 70-day relay, the torch will take a tour of the south coast during July, just days before the the big event.

The torch will arrive in Weymouth on July 12 before being taken to Bournemouth, Southampton and then Portsmouth on July 15.

Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, leader of Portsmouth City Council said: ‘We have been working to make sure this can happen for months. It’s a really good thing for the city. We’re very pleased.

‘It’s really good because it recognises Portsmouth has a key place within the life of the nation. The torch is not just coming through Portsmouth but will have an overnight stop here making it a start and finish point, a really important point in the relay.

‘We want to see if we can make sure as many people get involved in it coming to the city as possible.

‘We hope we can get as many schools in the city involved. It’s a real chance for the youngsters to play their part in the Olympics and Paralympics.’

The flame will also be welcomed in towns and cities including Bristol, Cardiff, Liverpool, Belfast, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Newcastle, Manchester, Sheffield, Nottingham, Oxford, and Dover.

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Locog) said the Olympic Flame would come within a one-hour journey of 95 per cent of people in the UK.

A search for 8,000 ‘inspirational torchbearers’ will begin today, the London Olympics’ organisers said.

Sebastian Coe, chair of Locog, said: ‘The Olympic Flame will shine a light right across every nation and region of the UK and showcase the very best of who we are and where we live.

‘The first locations on the route confirmed today give a flavour of the reach the Olympic torch relay will have around the UK and how extensive the opportunity for starting to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic Games will be.’