TOKYO: Tokyo Olympics organisers said on Friday they will put around a million more tickets for the 2020 Games on sale this month, with seats up for grabs at the boxing for the first time.
But tickets for the Olympic marathon, which is controversially being shifted from Tokyo to the northern city of Sapporo over heat fears, will not be on offer.
The second online lottery, restricted to residents of Japan, will run from Nov 13 to 26 and will be the last time tickets are offered exclusively for residents of the host nation.
Additional rounds of sales will begin in the spring.
The lottery will for the first time include tickets for boxing, which came close to being excluded from the Games after its governing body was suspended from organising the sport’s competition at the Olympics.
Tickets will not be available however for the marathon as organisers work out how to handle ticketing after shifting the race to Sapporo.
Some tickets for the event were sold before the move was announced, and organisers are also mulling how to handle compensation.
Officials said they were concerned about an apparent slowing in enthusiasm for tickets after an initial surge in applications during the first round.
Masaaki Komiya, a vice director-general with the organising committee, said he was worried some “distance” might be developing between locals and the Games.
“Just before this [second lottery], the move of the marathon competition arose,” Komiya said.
“I realise various opinions are being expressed. But our resolve to deliver exciting Games remains unchanged,” he said.
The IOC’s decision to move the marathon, as well as the race-walking event, sparked anger in Tokyo, with the governor citing public disappointment in her staunch opposition to the decision.
Officials did not offer details on any new security measures for the new lottery round, despite having had to invalidate nearly 7,000 tickets from the first round after discovering they were purchased with fraudulent identities through an online lottery.
Published in Dawn, November 9th, 2019