More Olympic agony as another 15,000 miss out on tickets

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

The general sports-watching public could be excused for thinking that they are being required to draw on similar levels of dedication and perseverance to get in to watch the Olympics as the athletes seeking to qualify to compete in the Games themselves.

Yesterday it was confirmed that more than 15,000 people who missed out on the original ballot last month had failed for a second time to secure a ticket after taking part, on this occasion, in a first-come, first-served bid to watch an event.

Organisers blamed the disappointment on the failure of the online sales system to update quickly enough. It followed a day of frustration in front of computer screens on Friday when the system struggled to cope with the level of demand and 10 sports sold out in the first 15 minutes. A London 2012 spokeswoman said only 10 per cent of applicants had been unsuccessful. "Over 150,000 applications have been processed since Friday for around 850,000 tickets," she said.

The final tranche of tickets will be made available in a third round in December when 1.3 million go on sale. Meanwhile the best opportunities lay in seeing hitherto less popular events such as Greco-Roman wrestling or volleyball. There are more than a million tickets still available for the football.

Lord Coe has insisted that everything is being done to help those who want a ticket. Locog, which is seeking to raise £500m from ticket sales, has said that it aims to get two-thirds of the original 1.2 million applicants who missed out into an event.

Amid mounting complaints over the complexity and apparent unfairness of the system as well as criticism that 5 per cent of the available tickets have gone to non-British fans under EU rules, there are still some ways to enjoy the greatest sporting show on earth free of charge.

At present the opportunities are limited to events staged beyond the Olympic Stadium. But even in the cases of the marathon and the race walking events, tickets have been sold at the most sought-after locations including the finishing and starting lines.

What you can watch – without a ticket

Road cycling

Starting and finishing at The Mall, the 250km road cycling course snakes around south-west London and Surrey. Thousands of bike fans are expected to line the route as the peloton sweeps across the Thames through Richmond Park before heading deep into leafy stockbroker belt. Perhaps the best vantage point could be at Box Hill near Dorking.

Race walk

Anything but a stroll, this is one of the most gruelling challenges and will be on display for all on the streets of London next summer. Competitors will complete multiple loops of the 2km course, taking in The Mall and Constitution Hill, above, for three free events – the men's and women's 20km race and the men's 50km race walk.


Unlike at previous Olympics, the marathon will not finish in the stadium. Competitors will instead complete three laps of an eight-mile loop plus a shorter circuit beginning and ending in front of Buckingham Palace. Sadly you will need a ticket to witness the finishing-line climax but drama is anticipated at the tight turns around St Paul's Cathedral and Birdcage Walk.


The capital's landmarks will again provide the backdrop to the world's fastest-growing sport. But only the triathlon's 40km cycling discipline will be on display to those without a ticket. Having completed a 1,500m swim in the Serpentine, athletes will pedal for 40km through London. The key viewing areas will be at Wellington Arch and Buckingham Palace. Action returns to Hyde Park for the final 10km run.


Locog's plan to close Nothe Gardens in Weymouth to all but the lucky few able to buy a ticket while screening off the public park's sea views for others has not gone down well on the south coast. A sea-exclusion zone means even those with their own boats will be kept to within binocular-viewing distance. However, those without tickets will be able to join in the excitement at vantage points at Newton's Cove and a screen and stage at Weymouth Beach.

Cycling time trials

During his reign, Henry VIII's riverside palace provided the scene of much plotting and intrigue. For the Olympics, Hampton Court will play an altogether more benign role in the nation's history when it opens its Tudor gates to allcomers looking to catch a glimpse of the world's top cyclists competing against the clock over 44km for men and 29km for women. Riders will set out at 90-second intervals.

Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
Morrissey pictured in 2013
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Robyn Lawley
i100  ... he was into holy war way before it was on trend
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmThe film is surprisingly witty, but could do with taking itself more seriously, says Geoffrey Macnab
Life and Style
food + drinkVegetarians enjoy food as much as anyone else, writes Susan Elkin
Life and Style
lifeDon't get caught up on climaxing
Life and Style
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star