The All England Lawn Tennis Club, home of the Wimbledon Championships, will launch this summer’s historic London Olympic Torch relay.

The Torch will wind its way around the All England Club, situated in the London Borough of Merton, on the middle Saturday of the 2004 Championships (26 June), before exiting the world’s premier tennis event and continuing its voyage around the landmarks and boroughs of the capital.

London is welcoming the Olympic Torch as one of the 34 cities across the world taking part in the Torch relay for the 2004 Athens Olympics.

Christopher Gorringe, Chief Executive of the All England Club, said: ‘The Olympics represent the pinnacle of sporting endeavour and it is an honour for The Championships to have been selected as the start point
for the Torch relay.’

Simon Clegg, the Chief Executive of the British Olympic Association, said: ‘We are delighted to be able to announce the start the London leg of the 2004 Olympic Torch relay at Wimbledon, one of London’s iconic sporting centres. Wimbledon is a world-famous sporting venue and this
promises to be a very special day.’

Mayor of London Ken Livingstone, said: ‘As one of the world’s most instantly recognisable sporting icons The All England Lawn Tennis Club at Wimbledon is the ideal start point for the London stage of the Olympic Torch relay. To have the event right in the middle of the tennis championship is an extra bonus. The Torch relay is the ideal opportunity for London and Londoners to share in the spirit of the Olympics and will be a great day across the city’

Londoners will be invited to welcome the Olympic flame as it travels many parts of London on its 48km route. As well as passing a host of icons of modern and historic London including Tower of London, St Paul’s Cathedral, the London Eye and Trafalgar Square, it will also pass through the heart of many of London’s diverse communities. The Torch
relay is presented by Coca-Cola and Samsung, and will finish with a spectacular celebration in central London in the evening.

Details of the timings, routes and identities of the Torch-bearers will be released nearer the time.

For more information contact:

Philip Pope (ext 233) or Becki Middleton (ext 215) in the British
Olympic Association Media Office on 0208 871 2677.

Catherine Mattison in the Mayor of London’s Press Office on 020 7983
4020 or Anna Macmillan on 020 7983 6550

Wimbledon: Johnny Perkins/Sara Jones/Nick Melton
QBO Bell Pottinger on + 44 (0)20 7861 3035,