The official flag of the Olympics has arrived in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro, the host city of the next Games in 2016.

Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes waved the flag after stepping off the plane with other officials.

The flag was handed to Paes on Sunday in London during the closing ceremony.

                 Olympic spotlight shifts to Rio for 2016 

The move marks the official start of Rio's preparations for the 2016 games, becoming the first South American city to host the games.

Arriving on Monday with the flag, Paes was accompanied by Carlos Arthur Nuzman, president of the 2016 Games Organising Committee, Rio Governor Sergio Cabral, and the country's team of athletes.

The city has yet to start work on the Olympic Park and other venues, and there are concerns about how much work there is left to do ahead of the event.

During a visit in June, members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said that timelines were "already very tight" and that "the amount of work to be completed is considerable".

Brazil finished 22nd in London 2012, winning 17 medals, two more than its previous best in Beijing.

The London Olympics were brought to a close on Sunday night with a spectacular musical ceremony, featuring some of the biggest names of British pop, including the Spice Girls, George Michael and Elbow.

Source: Agencies