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OLYMPICS/ Spotlight

Third round of Olympic ticket sales start
Updated: 2008-05-05 16:39


BEIJING -- The third round of domestic ticket sales for the Beijing Olympics started on Monday but the online purchasing system seemed to hit a snag again.

A local resident showcases his Olympic tickets newly purchased from a Bank of China branch in Yangzhou, East China's Jiangsu Province, May 5, 2008. The third round of domestic ticket sales for the Beijing Olympics started on Monday. [Xinhua]

A total of 1.38 million tickets were put on sale in this round for 16 sports, including boxing, soccer, volleyball, basketball. According to the Olympic ticketing center, more than 60,000 tickets for eight sessions were sold out barely three hours after the sales began at Bank of China branches and on the official website.

Hundreds of people waited for hours at Bank of China branches for a chance to purchase tickets.

A lady surnamed Zhu bought six tickets for the track and field events, including three for the men's 110-meter hurdles semifinals, for which China's Liu Xiang is expected to defend his title.

"I am very lucky," she said. "I came here at 10 p.m. yesterday."

However, the online sales system turned problematic as buyers could not finish the final payment though they were able to log onto the website and select tickets easily.

The online system collapsed due to overwhelming demand hours after the second round of sales started last November, and the organizers then were forced to allocate tickets by draw.

A year ago, organizers said that about 7 million tickets would be available for sale, but last month Zhu Yan, head of the Olympics ticketing center, said that the number had dwindled to 6.8 million because of the re-calculation of the seats in the 37 competition venues.

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