On your marks… final London 2012 athletics tickets to go on sale

 

Up to 1,600 coveted tickets for athletics events are to be put on sale at the last minute.

Paul Deighton, chief executive of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Locog), said tickets had been held back until now so that views from certain seats were unrestricted.

The news will be welcomed by fans who have struggled to get tickets.

Mr Deighton said: "You sort of hold them back to make sure all the seats work and all the views are not restricted. So as we're seeing how every venue works we are releasing the final tickets."

More details of ticket availability will come forward in the next 48 hours but Mr Deighton suggested that between 1 per cent and 2 per cent of tickets had been held back.

If 2 per cent of the Olympic Stadium's 80,000 seats are yet to go on sale, up to 1,600 could be up for grabs by members of the public.

"You can expect to see quite a few athletics tickets shortly because, of course, we converted the stadium from the 'green and pleasant land' that we had on Friday night into an athletics stadium – getting all the camera positions finally worked out so we can be precise about which seats have a view that is acceptable to sell and which ones are restricted," Mr Deighton said. "There will be a few of those coming shortly."

Locog, has faced criticism over the ranks of empty seats at "sold-out" events like swimming, dressage, volleyball and tennis in the first days of the Games. On Monday it announced that teachers, schoolchildren and off-duty members of the armed forces would be brought in to fill the spaces. Matters were made worse by Lord Sebastian Coe's claim that venues were "stuffed to the gunnels".

Black-market scam may leave fans shut out

Thousands of ticket-holders may be refused entry after police uncovered an unauthorised agency sourcing black-market seats. The Office of Fair Trading said 20,000 tickets had been sold by Oslo-based Euroteam, 15,000 more than it obtained from official sources.

Euroteam appears to have been sourcing tickets from national Olympics federations. This week Norwegian police stopped a Polish man at Oslo airport and confiscated 455 tickets from a national Olympic committee, prompting an investigation by the IOC.

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