Relay torchbearer seeks quick profit on eBay

One of the first participants in the London Olympic relay looked set to make a quick profit on Saturday.

The logo for the London 2012 Olympics. Picture: AFP

LONDON - One of the first participants in the London Olympic relay looked set to make a quick profit on Saturday after a torch and uniform went up for sale on auction website eBay within hours of the 70-day event starting.

The unnamed seller's location was given as Probus in Cornwall, the south-west English county where the relay had started in the morning after the flame was flown in from Greece on Friday.

The uniform was described as extra large.

Put on sale at 1100GMT, the items had already attracted 24 bids by 1630 with the price soaring above 3,000 pounds.

Some of the bearers nominated by the relay sponsors have been allowed to keep their triangular-shaped torches, made of gold-coloured aluminium and perforated with 8,000 holes, at no cost while others have been asked to pay for theirs.

Organisers LOCOG had set a cost for their nominees of 199 pounds if paid for before May 1 and 215 pounds thereafter.

"The Torch and uniform are the Torchbearer's to do what they want with, we hope they find a good home," said a London 2012 spokesperson when asked about the eBay sale.

Some 90 percent of the torchbearers were nominated through public campaigns, with the emphasis on rewarding local heroes and those who have made a difference to the communities in which they live, and the rest selected by invitation.

Banners and publicity emphasise it as the "Moment to Shine".

The relay started at Land's End on the south-west tip of England just after 0600GMT with triple Olympic yachting gold medallist Ben Ainslie handed the honour of completing the first 300 metres.

Some 8,000 people are due to take part in the relay around Britain and into Ireland before the cauldron is lit at the opening ceremony on July 27.