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Thousands turn out for Games preview

11/03/2006 12:11:05 AM Comments (0)

Thousands of people have turned out for a sneak preview of the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in a rehearsal ahead of Wednesday's main event.

Crowds lined the banks of the Yarra River, where the Queen's baton will pass through on the final leg of its 180,000km journey to the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The baton's arrival will give the public the chance to enjoy the festivities of the opening ceremony without forking out up to $590 for a seat in the MCG.

But while spectators were invited to enjoy the preview, games organisers were reluctant to let the world's viewing public in on the action.

A media ban prohibited news crews broadcasting images of the event in a bid by games organisers not to ruin the surprise.

Media outlets were instead given a 30 second snapshot of proceedings and risked a $240,000 fine if they broadcasted their own material.

The opening ceremony will be held on Wednesday night at the MCG where the games will be officially opened by the Queen.

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