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Last place for group of samba queen (7)

The Rio samba group which shocked child welfare campaigners by choosing a seven-year-old girl as its drum corps queen -- a role normally reserved for sultry models -- came last in the extravagant parade competition and will be demoted to a smaller parade next year.

Julia Lira, daughter of Viradouro samba group president Marco Lira, was reduced to tears under the intense focus of photographers and TV cameras.

The Unidos da Tijuca samba group was crowned champion of the Rio Carnival parades yesterday, for the first time in more than seven decades.

Tijuca's winning theme was It's a Secret, and the elaborate parade examined mysteries such as the Bermuda Triangle and ancient lost civilisations.

hnews@herald.ie


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