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Ten thousand balloons drifted into the cerulean sky as Yoshinori Sakai jogged up the 163 steps leading into the stands of Japan National Stadium.

The 19-year-old Sakai, born just 90 minutes after the atomic bomb fell near his hometown in Hiroshima Prefecture, was the last of 100,000 runners who had relayed the Olympic torch over some 26,000 km from Olympia, Greece, culminating in the ceremonial igniting of the Olympic cauldron to mark the start of the 1964 Summer Games in Tokyo.

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