Voyage to Paris: Part IX
> Leading off...
Golden tickets are gone in a flash with Modern Pentathlon among sports to sell out
In a recent interview with UIPM News, rising Great Britain star Kerenza Bryson explained how snaring a quota qualification spot for Paris 2024 opened the door to a brand new stress: how to ensure loved ones can be there to watch their Olympic mission.
“I’ve got a good few tickets already but they’re really difficult to get hold of,” Bryson said. “We get given two tickets each and the rest we have to figure out. So I’ve been navigating the ballots to buy some.”
It’s likely that Team Bryson were among the millions around the world who had their fingers hovering over a laptop or phone screen on November 30 when the latest batch of golden tickets were made available. We hope they weren’t left disappointed but it’s quite possible they were.
Remarkably, of the 400,000 tickets put on sale, 380,000 sold within the first 24 hours according to IOC officials. That meant that with a full seven months to go to the Opening Ceremony, 7.5 million tickets out of 10 million overall for the Olympic Games have been sold.
“As a result of this overwhelming demand, the Organising Committee decided to put an additional 50,000 tickets on sale,” an IOC update reported. “More than 20 disciplines are currently sold out. Since the start of the sales, tickets have been sold to spectators from 197 countries in addition to France. Great Britain, USA, Germany and the Netherlands are the top five countries along with France.”
It appears that Modern Pentathlon, which will be hosted in the stunning grounds of the Palace of Versailles from Thursday August 8 to Sunday August 11, is indeed among those sports currently sold out. A trawl through the Paris 2024 ticketing site found not a single ticket available for any of the Modern Pentathlon sessions.
While there will still be a couple more windows in 2024 for those final few tickets, Bryson and her supporters will have to be quick on the click given how scorching demand has been so far.
> Paris Pointer
Turkish delight as Unal and Ozyuksel show off an adventurous spirit in the pursuit of Olympic places
Next year will see the Asian Confederation host UIPM Congress with the 73rd edition of the sport’s global decision-making summit awarded to Saudi Arabia as the Middle East becomes a multisport hotspot. Asia is most certainly rising.
Nobody said that the road from home to Paris had to be a straight-forward one. It’s often the case that the road less-travelled can offer plenty of opportunities.
An adventurous attitude is already paying off for Turkish teammates Ilke Ozyuksel and Bugra Unal. The duo have shown so much prowess as a pairing, most emphatically when they won UIPM 2023 Pentathlon World Cup Mixed Relay on home turf in Ankara (TUR) in April. But taking their show on the road has reaped rewards too.
The rebranded UIPM Pentathlon Challengers series of competitions offer a precious route towards Olympic qualification in the form of rankings points, with three events having taken place so far and the fourth and final instalment rapidly approaching in January in Egypt.
At the most recent event in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan in mid-October, Ozyuksel (TUR) and Unal (TUR) came out on top, both claiming gold medals and a haul of ranking points. Ozyuksel (TUR) was already significantly further up the World Rankings than her teammate but that victory helped push her inside the top five in the world, with the four ahead of her already having grabbed quota qualification spots.
Unal (TUR) has further to go but has shown his hunger to keep on climbing. Having recorded a respectable 15th place at UIPM Pentathlon Challenger Spain in Madrid in early October, his victory in Kyrgyzstan saw him move inside the top 50 in the World Rankings but also inside the top three of the Olympic Rankings.
Always such a positive fun-loving duo when teaming up, Ozyuksel and Unal have found success the hard way. Perhaps it can take them to Paris.
> Numbers game
90,000 The number of people who have submitted applications to be torch bearers on the Olympic Torch Relay from Greece to Paris. While there are a whopping 10,000 slots available that still means there are going to be tens of thousands of disappointed fans who will have to make do with cheering along the Relay route.
> Qualification latest
At the end of the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago (CHI) in November, 44 of the 72 quota places at Paris 2024 had been claimed. Women: Italy (2), Great Britain (2), China, Japan, Korea, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Spain, Lithuania, France, Hungary, Germany, Egypt, Australia, Czech Republic, Mexico, USA, Brazil, Ecuador and the International Athletes Team (EAI). Men: Egypt (2), Mexico (2), Italy, China, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Kazakhstan, Great Britain, Hungary, France, Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Switzerland, Australia, Ecuador, Cuba, Argentina and EAI.
Now that more than 60% of the precious places at Paris have been secured, the focus will shift to the remaining 28 berths. However the hectic qualification rush over recent months will now slow down a little with no further places being decided until June 2024.
Full details of the Paris 2024 qualification process can be found at uipmworld.org/olympic-game