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London 2012: Olympic cauldron relit after move to southern end of stadium

Cauldron relocated from centre of Olympic Stadium and relit by torchbearer who carried flame during London 1948 Games

The flame in Betty, the Olympic cauldron, was temporarily transferred to a lantern on Sunday night as the 8.5-metre structure was moved from the centre of the stadium in preparation for the start of the athletics at the end of the week.

The cauldron, which was one of the highlights of the opening ceremony, now sits at the southern end of the stadium, ahead of the 100m finish line in a nod to the position of both her predecessor at the 1948 London Games and the spot occupied by the cauldron in the old Wembley Stadium.

It will take 80 hours to turn the Olympic Stadium from the prop-filled setting of Danny Boyle's opening ceremony back to an 80,000-capacity sporting arena in readiness for the competitions. The flame was taken from the cauldron at 9pm on Sunday and placed in a special miners' lantern before work began to relocate the structure.

The cauldron, made up of 205 steel pipes and individually designed copper petals inscribed with the competing nation's names, was moved to a position inside rather than above the stadium, and relit at 7.50am on Monday.

Austin Playfoot, a torchbearer from the 1948 Olympics when he carried the flame from the Horse & Groom pub in Merrow to the Municipal Offices in Guildford, did the honours of relighting Betty by transferring the flame back from the miners' lamp using a 2012 torch.

Playfoot described his role as an "honour".

He added: "When I ran with the Olympic flame in Guildford I never thought I would get this close to the cauldron, it brought me to tears when it lit up. It will be an incredible inspiration to the competing athletes here at the heart of the Olympic Park in the stadium."

The cauldron will to be dismantled after the Games and each of the petals will be given to the competing 204 national Olympic committees. © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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