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Online application process for London Olympics under way

The application process for tickets to the London 2012 Olympics opened at midnight last night, and organisers expect the official website to be the world's third-largest online retail portal after eBay and Amazon.

Locog, the Games' co-ordinating committee, can only estimate how many people will apply before the deadline on April 26. But given that 2.5 million registered their interest in tickets in advance, the number of applications for individual events is likely to be in the tens of millions.

However, organisers have been emphasising that the process is “a marathon and not a sprint”, so prospective spectators should not worry about missing out on those Greco-Roman wrestling tickets.

The process is not first-come, first-served; automated ballots will select tickets at random for over-subscribed events, and the window to apply runs until April 26.

There are 6.6 million tickets for the Olympic Games available to the British public in total. And with 645 sessions for 26 sports taking place at 34 venues across 19 days, there is plenty of choice available.

Nevertheless, as the biggest sporting event to ever take place in the UK, every event is expected to sell out. Even the less glamorous events such as archery, handball and synchronised swimming are on the wishlists of tens of thousands of people.

London 2012 chairman Lord Coe described it as the “daddy of all ticketing strategies” but there is a potential risk of a technological meltdown. He said: “We have got some great partnerships out there. London 2012 is working with technical teams and in the technology suites on the tickets.

“We have 2.5 million people saying they want tickets and right across the process, this is where we want to be, but there is no hurry. We have got every confidence that everybody who wants to come will get a chance.”

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