Paralympics: Interest at sky-high level, say organisers


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The Independent Online

Ahead of tonight's closure of the first ticket window for the 2012 Paralympics, organisers have claimed an "unprecedented" demand with the finals of wheelchair rugby – known as murder ball – and wheelchair tennis among those to have sold out.

London organisers, Locog, and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) had made bullish predictions for ticket sales ahead of the three-week window opening – the aim is to sell all 1.5 million by the time the Games begin next September. The number so far is put at "hundreds of thousands" with cycling and swimming sessions also selling out and requiring a ballot to settle successful applicants, as with next year's Olympics.

Sir Philip Craven, president of the IPC, said: "The demand for tickets, and the fact that some sessions are already oversubscribed one year out, is like nothing ever seen before in the history of the Paralympic Games. To have such interest and hunger in the Games really is unprecedented."

Sebastian Coe, chair of Locog, said: "When the process closes at 6pm [today] we anticipate that we will have had applications for hundreds of thousands of tickets."

Tickets remain for all other sports, including £10 day passes for the Olympic Park. More than half the tickets for the Games are priced at £10 or under. Britain finished second in the medal table in Beijing in 2008 behind China.