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Paralympic torch lit in Brasilia: relay to start journey around Brazil on 1 September

2016-08-26 09:52:00 Rio 2016

A gold medallist in the 200m at London 2012, Yohansson Nascimento poses for photographers with the Rio 2016 Paralympic torch (Photo: PR/Beto Barata)

The flame for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games is now burning brightly in Brazil. At a ceremony on Thursday (25 August) in the capital Brasília, the Rio 2016 Paralympic torch was lit by the country's interim president Michel Temer.

Temer handed the torch to Paralympian athlete Yohansson Nascimento, a Brazilian sprinter who won a memorable gold at London 2012 in the 200m and is favourite for a medal in Rio.

Also present at the ceremony were the president of the Rio 2016 organising committee, Carlos Arthur Nuzman, the minister of sport, Leonardo Picciani, and the president of the Brazilian Paralympic Committee, Andrew Parsons.

"The experience of hosting the Olympic Games, called by many people the best in history, guarantees that the Paralympic Games will continue in the same direction," Nuzman said.

"We will receive the Paralympic world in a city that has been transformed."

The Paralympic torch relay will begin next Thursday (1 September). On its way to the opening ceremony in Rio de Janeiro on 7 September, the relay will visit five cities: Brasília, Belém, Joinville, Natal and São Paulo.

Yohansson Nascimento said that Brazil's Paralympians will do all they can to meet the country's target of finishing in the top five of the medal table.

"I have no doubt that the Paralympic Games will also be a success," Nascimento said.

"Brazilian athletes are training hard. Our target of finishing in the top five is very ambitious, but we have had all the support we need to reach it. We are prepared and we will achieve it. I have no doubts that we will hear the Brazilian national anthem every day."

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