Powys residents ensured that Wales waved goodbye to the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay in style by turning out in their thousands as it passed through Llanymynech and Welshpool before crossing the border.
Crowds from Wednesday’s two events combined with Monday’s procession through Machynlleth has seen the turnout almost reach an estimated 20,000, ensuring that the Relay was greeted by packed streets wherever it entered the county.
An incredible 12,000 alone welcomed the Relay to Welshpool, including nearly 3,000 pupils from various schools around the county who noisily cheered on the Torchbearers as they ran along the route.
Despite only being in the village for three minutes, around 2,000 people squeezed into Llanymynech to watch Pete Latham carry the Torch along the main road before the carnival cavalcade headed towards Welshpool.
Running in front of her high school, athlete Adele Nicoll was first to run with the Flame through the town. The 15 year old is a junior shot put champion, and is tipped to be a future Olympian herself.
She said: “Running with the Torch was such an adrenalin rush and having all the support behind me was an incredible experience.
“The Torch was quite top heavy but it’s alright as I’m used to throwing shot puts, but whilst I was running I wasn’t tired, I just wanted to keep going.
“I managed to spot my mum and my dad and my coach in the crowd but going past my friends was such a buzz. Knowing they were there shouting my name and cheering me on was really cool.”
The honour of Wales’ final Torchbearer went to a heavily pregnant Hayley Lynch who was due to give birth to a little baby boy three days ago. Despite having to run twice as far as the other Torchbearers due to absentees, Hayley bravely brought the flame along Broad Street to St Mary’s Church where it was transferred back into the travelling lantern for the final time in Wales.
The fun wasn’t over though for a number of pupils who attended an Olympic Festival at The Flash Leisure Centre in Welshpool, where they represented a number of countries competing at this summer’s Olympics and enjoyed taster sessions in a number of sports including gymnastics and blind football.