London 2012: Fans help Dai Greene buy extra Olympic tickets

By James PearceBBC Olympics Correspondent

Dai Greene is one of several British Olympic athletes to receive extra London 2012 tickets for their families thanks to help from sports fans.

Competitors only get two tickets for each of their sessions, leading 400m hurdle world champion Greene, 25, to express his frustration on Twitter.

Fans who had become experts at finding tickets on official foreign websites got Greene eight more for his events.

Greene said: "This is exactly what the Olympic spirit embodies."

With demand from the public so high, family members of British Olympic athletes have been faced with the prospect of having to watch their loved ones on television.

But as citizens of the European Union, British sports fans are entitled to buy Olympic tickets from any seller within the EU, as each country is given its own allocation.

Matt de Monte, of London, secured more than 20 tickets for himself from official foreign sellers to watch several different events at the Games. When he heard about Greene's struggle to get hold of tickets, he offered his assistance.

Greene's girlfriend responded to De Monte's message on Twitter, promising that, if he could secure tickets for the Welsh star's events, she and Greene would pay him back.

Within a week, De Monte had purchased eight tickets for Greene's semi-final and final, initially paying £1,500 of his own money to buy them.

A delighted Greene told BBC Sport he was overjoyed that someone he had never met before could help out his family in this way.

"You don't hear of many stories like this. It's usually just doom and gloom - this is somebody going out of their way to help others."

De Monte said: "It feels great. Anything which can help our athletes and Team GB achieve more at the Olympics is fantastic."

Since Greene's success in securing tickets, other sports fans have used Twitter in the same way to contact Olympians to offer their help.

A random group of five people have used their knowledge of official foreign ticket sellers to club together and purchase a total of 14 tickets for Olympic rowing gold medallist Zac Purchase.

Other British athletes have also now turned to Twitter in search of tickets for their families.

The good news for those who have still not been successful is that the next round of sales by the London 2012 Organising Committee (Locog) will take place in April.

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