By Tom Degun at the Main Press Centre on the Olympic Park in London

paralympic torch_relay_29-08-12August 29 - London 2012 has been forced to come up with a contingency plan to light the Paralympic Cauldron at the Opening Ceremony tonight after the Paralympic Torch Relay suffered major delays, mostly due to bad weather conditions.

The 24-hour Torch Relay began at Stoke Mandeville, the birthplace of the Paralympics, yesterday evening and has travelled towards London overnight.

It arrived in the capital this morning but has fallen well behind schedule and may not reach the Olympic Stadium in Stratford in time for the Ceremony.

Organisers have therefore announced that should the Torch fail to arrive at the Olympic Stadium in time for the lighting of the Cauldron, a spare one will be used.

The spare Paralympic Flame will be the one that was carried to City Hall for a celebration event this afternoon by the London 2012 director of Paralympic integration Chris Holmes, who is also a British nine-times Paralympic swimming champion.

"This Flame will now travel to the Stadium," said a London 2012 statement.

"Should the Torch Relay run late, this Flame will be used to light the Cauldron during the Paralympic Opening Ceremony this evening."

The Torch Relay Flame is set continue to Stratford Park for the planned celebration with organisers still hopeful it will be used for the Cauldron lighting.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]