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Brazilians Snap Up 2M Tickets for 2016 Rio Games

Nawal El Moutawakel, head of the IOC Evaluation Commission, right, and Eduardo Paes, Rio de Janeiro's Mayor, show tickets before boarding a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) during the 3rd visit of the IOC Coordination Commission for the Rio Olympics 2016 in Rio de

Brazilians have already bought around two million tickets for next year's Rio Olympics, officials said as the one-year countdown to the 2016 Games began on Wednesday.

Of the 7.5 million tickets available for the sporting extravaganza, four million have been allocated for Brazilians and half of these were sold in the first round of sales via the internet.

Another one million tickets have already been set aside for foreign buyers, sponsors, and participating federations and Olympic committees, officials said.

"We are very happy with the numbers," said Donovan Ferretti, the official in charge of ticket sales.

The first batch of tickets went on sale in March, with prices ranging from 40 reais ($11.50) to 4,600 reais ($1,318) for the opening ceremony. More than half the tickets cost 70 reais or less. The cheapest tickets at London 2012 were 20 pounds, at the time about $32.

The second round of sales is expected to be announced later this month.