China Olympic gold medallist shows sell out in an hour in Hong Kong
Many queue overnight as Hongkongers snap up 3,448 tickets for chance to meet mainland Olympic winners
Thousands of sports lovers - some of whom had queued overnight - lined up outside official ticket outlets yesterday morning for the chance to meet China's Olympic gold medal athletes, and many went away empty-handed.
The 3,448 tickets, which went on sale at 10am, were sold out an hour later.
The name on the lips of many queuers outside the Cultural Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui was badminton star Lin Dan. "We hope to see our idol Lin Dan once again. He is so strong and powerful, and his tattoos are so cool," said 17-year-oldMarz Chan Tsz-lok, one of the first in the line.
The teenager said his unforgettable encounter with the mainland gold medallists after the Beijing Olympics four years ago had prompted him to queue again.
The London champions will pay a three-day visit to Hong Kong next week and hold demonstration shows at two venues on the morning of August 25. In the evening of the same day, there will be a celebratory extravaganza at Hong Kong stadium, during which the athletes will interact with the audience.
Badminton and table tennis athletes will perform at the Queen Elizabeth Stadium in Wan Chai, while the diving team will hold demonstrations at the Kowloon Park swimming pool.
Tickets for the Mainland Olympic Gold Medallists Sports Demonstrations went on sale at City Hall, the Cultural Centre, and the Tuen Mun and Sha Tin town halls and were sold at about 11am. Many of those lucky enough to get tickets started queuing on Tuesday night or early yesterday morning.
Among the crowd waiting to buy tickets at City Hall was a family of six from Yuen Long.
One, who was first in line, said: "We started queuing at 10pm. I am curious to see the gold medallists and see them up close." Latecomers, who joined the queue after 9am, were upset that they had missed out. "I'm a bit disappointed," said one 18-year-old-man. "The government should have offered more tickets."
The tickets cost HK$20 each, with each person limited to two.
Tickets for the evening extravaganza, are available at 43 Urbtix outlets from 10am today. A total of 26,500 tickets are offered on a first-come-first-serve basis at HK$20 each - with a limit of four per person.
China won 38 gold, 27 silver and 23 bronze medals in London, coming second overall behind the US.