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Olympic legend to light Marlborough Jubilee Beacon
Marlborough's Diamond Jubilee Beacon which will join thousands of others across the UK and the Commonwealth in a chain stretching across the world will be lit by the Olympic gold medal winner David Hemery.
Today it was confirmed that David Hemery CBE, vice chairman of the British Olympic Association who won gold in the hurdles in Mexico in 1968 will be lighting the town’s beacon at Barbury Castle on June 4 at 10pm .
Beacon points are chosen on the highest ground so that they can be seen forming a line of fire across the country and, on this occasion, across the world.
From most beacon points others can be seen and from Barbury Castle it will be possible, weather permitting, to see the beacon on Martinsell Hill in the Pewsey Vale.
There had been some disappointment that Mr Hemery who lives at Fyfield, will not be running the torch relay through Marlborough next Wednesday -- he has been chosen instead to the torch on its way through Royal Wootton Bassett later the same day.
Today it was revealed that thos joining in the celebration at the Barbury beacon will able to watch him as he light’s Marlborough’s very own Jubilee beacon organised by the town’s Brandt group.
Mr Hemery has lived just outside Marlborough at Fyfield for many years and is best known for his world record breaking run to win the 1968 Olympic 400 metres hurdles in Mexico City. His margin of victory in that final was the greatest since 1924.
His gold medal helped him to win the 1968 BBC Sports Personality of the Year. The following year he won silver at the European Championships and in 1972 he won a silver and a bronze at the Munich Olympics.
He has also won sporting Superstar competitions three times.
Mr Hemery, 67,currently devotes his time to the 21st Century Legacy charity he set up three years ago with its motto “Be the Best you can Be!” encouraging young people to achieve their full potential in life.
The former athlete, whose son Adrian 29 is promising decathlete, said: “Young people deserve our support to enable them to fulfil their dreams and ambitions.
“ Every one of them has huge potential and to succeed they need to develop life skills, confidence and a determination to achieve and overcome any barriers that are in their way.”
It is believed the 21st Century Legacy promises helped London get the 2012 games.
Tickets to attend the beacon ceremony (adults £15, under 18’s £5, family tickets £35) are on sale at the White Horse Bookshop in Marlborough.