OLYMPIC TORCH 7.10pm: They even came from Panama to see the Olympic torch

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Crowds of people lined the streets of St Leonards to greet the Olympic torch along the seafront, some waving flags including those from competing nations including the USA and Brazil.

Those living in Marine Court were afforded a perfect view leaning over balconies eagerly awaiting the arrival of the runners. There were whoops and cheers when the arrival of the torch relay was announced.

St Leonards getting ready for the torch

St Leonards getting ready for the torch

One of the highlights was the run by Eric Hardwick, the director of the Hastring Half Marathon, who received rousing applause. He passed the torch on the David Minett before getting back on to the coach laid on for all the torch bearers.

Watching Eric was family, including his wife and their grandchildren. He posed with a glass of champagne at the end of his run to the cheers of a throng of cheering people.

One girl 18-year-old Karla Rodriquez came all the way from Panama City to Hastings to see the torch relay and also the 2012 Olympics.

Clutching a Panamnian flag, she said: “I have a friend who works here in a language school. We were very excited about coming to England. At the last Olympics in Beijing, Panama won its first ever gold medal, in the long jump.”