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IPC hails ‘unprecedented’ demand for Paralympic tickets

Andrew Parsons, president of the IPC (by Jörg Schüler/Getty Images)

International Paralympic Committee (IPC) president Andrew Parsons has stated organisers of the 2020 summer Paralympic Games have received “unprecedented” demand for tickets, adding that applications for Tokyo’s event already exceed the record number sold for London 2012’s Paralympics.

London 2012 sold 2.7 million tickets, but Parsons said Tokyo 2020 has already received 3.1 million applications for the 2.3 million tickets available, with an initial 600,000 allocated during the first lottery process.

At present there are no plans to up the total number of tickets available. Parsons told the Reuters news agency: “We have some very good numbers on ticket sales. 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 Games next year.”

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics organising committee last month launched its second, and last, lottery to sell tickets to Japanese residents, amid reports of high demand. The lottery began on November 13 and will involve the sale of more than one million tickets by the time it concludes on December 18.

So far, 3.57 million tickets have been awarded to local residents via lottery. Local media reports say that demand for tickets has exceeded supply by a factor of 10, and there have been complaints about scarcity.

In other news, Parsons said the Paralympics is due to remain in Tokyo for its entire duration, with an announcement on the marathon events expected on Thursday. The 2020 Paralympics commence on August 25, with the marathons due to conclude the Games on September 6.

In October, the International Olympic Committee made the controversial decision to move marathon and race walking events at the Olympics 800km north to Sapporo amid ongoing concerns over the weather conditions expected in Tokyo for next year’s Games.

However, Parsons said: “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.”