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Olympic Organizers Report High Demand for Opening Ceremony Tickets

Olympic organizers in China have announced the opening ceremony for the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing was the most popular event requested in the first phase of ticket sales.

Less than five percent of the people requesting tickets to the August 8 ceremony were lucky enough to get one of the 26,000 available tickets.

Only Chinese residents were allowed to apply for tickets in the first phase of sales, which ended June 30. Some 300,000 people made successful requests, buying nearly 1.6 million of the 2.2 million available tickets.

The most requested ticket to a sporting event was in basketball, with Chinese fans optimistic about their team's medal chances with NBA All-Star center Yao Ming leading the squad.

Other popular sports were football (soccer) and gymnastics, as well as sports China typically dominates - diving and table tennis.

China is expected to sell a total of around seven million tickets for Olympic events, with about 75 percent going to fans inside the country.