Demand for Tokyo 2020 tickets
unprecedented, says IPC chief
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[December 10, 2019]
By Jack Tarrant
TOKYO (Reuters) - There have been more
than three million requests for Tokyo 2020 Paralympics tickets via
the first lottery phase, three times the demand seen a year out from
the London 2012 event which went on to post record sales,
Paralympics chief Andrew Parsons has said.
London is seen as the benchmark for the International Paralympic
Committee (IPC) in terms of interest in the Games with a record
total of 2.7 million tickets sold.
"We have some very good numbers on ticket sales," IPC President
Parsons told Reuters on Tuesday.
"We had 3.1 million ticket requests. It is an unprecedented number,
three times more than in London (one year from the start of Games)
and London was the most successful Paralympic Games so far.
"(This) shows the appetite that Japanese society has for the Olympic
Games next year."
About 600,000 tickets were allocated during the first lottery. In
Tokyo 2020's bid for the Games, organizers said there would only be
2.3 million tickets for the Paralympics but organizers are hopeful
more tickets will be made available.
"It is a positive surprise and it is paying off all the efforts, not
only of the IPC but also Tokyo 2020, the levels of government, the
media and Japanese society," said Parsons.
"They are engaged.
"If you think of the last wheelchair rugby tournament a few weeks
ago and the enthusiasm of the spectators there, this is a country
where people have fallen in love with Paralympic sport."
[to top of second column]
Andrew Parsons, International Paralympic Committee President, poses
next to the Paralympic Games symbol in front of the Hotel de Ville
City Hall in Paris, France November 10, 2017. REUTERS/Gonzalo
Paralympic sports have grown in popularity in Japan, frequently
appearing on television and often given equal billing to the
Olympics in the buildup to Tokyo 2020.
In October, the World Wheelchair Rugby Challenge drew big crowds and
with Japan the current world champions in the sport, it is likely to
be one of the most popular events next year.
While the Olympic marathons have been moved to the northern city of
Sapporo to avoid the worst of Tokyo's summer heat Parsons said it
was likely that all Paralympic events would remain in Tokyo as
"There was an overwhelming response from the athletes saying because
the Paralympic marathon is the last event of the whole of Tokyo
2020, that it is the moment to be closer to the Tokyo spectators,"
"To be competing in front of hundreds of thousands of spectators...
(is) a way to say thank you to them for the support."
The 2020 Paralympics run from Aug. 25 to Sep. 6
(Editing by Peter Rutherford)
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