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Third batch of Olympic tickets now on sale
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The third batch of Beijing Olympic tickets went on sale at 9 AM, China News Service reported Monday.

Fans in China can submit ticket orders through the official website (www.tickets.beijing2008.cn) or at 1,000 designated branches of the Bank of China nationwide.

Xu Qin, a resident from southeastern China's Fujian Province, jubilantly shows off the Beijing Olympic tickets he bought at the Wangfujing branch of the Bank of China on Monday, May 5, 2008. Xu became the first to make the purchase on Monday when the third batch of Beijing Olympic tickets went on sale at 9 AM. [Photo: Xinhua]

Unlike in the past two sales, the ticketing center gave up the lottery-allocation system and re-adopted the first-come, first-serve scheme to decide who gets tickets, the report said.

In the initial phase, the first-come, first-serve ticket sale was suspended after less than a day as about eight million hits overwhelmed the Website and 3.8 million calls jammed the hotline (010- 952008), according to an earlier report.

Ticket sales will run from May 5 until June 9. A total of 1.38 million tickets will be issued to individual buyers.

Each applicant is allowed to submit only one order for a maximum of two competitions with a limit of three tickets for each event.

It will give everyone a fair chance, Zhu Yan, the director of the Olympic ticketing center, told a press conference in Beijing on April 23.

The Beijing Olympic Games Organizing Committee revealed earlier that there were plenty of tickets in the third-phase as there were at least 1,000 for every event.

The committee unveiled ticket designs on April 23. Technology such as offset micro-printing has been used to head off counterfeiting and curb scalper activity.

The tickets are emblazoned with "lucky clouds" that represent the best wishes from China's 56 ethnic groups.

Zhu promised there will be no repeat of foul-ups that marred previous ticket sales.

A total of seven million tickets are available for the Games and about 75 percent are reserved for domestic sale.

To make the Games affordable to average residents, about 58 percent of the tickets are priced at 100 yuan (US$14.29) or less, and 14 percent will be reserved for Chinese students at 10 yuan or less.

Ticket prices for the 28 Olympic sports range from 30 yuan to 1,000 yuan.

(Shanghai Daily May 5, 2008)

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