Translated from the Chinese that was published on page 24 of Lianhe Zaobao, Singapore’s flagship Chinese daily, on August 22, 2008.
As the news of Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang not participating in the 110-meter hurdles event at the Beijing Olympics Games broke, black-market ticket prices for the event’s finals tumbled correspondingly.
Prices of what used to be the most sought-after ticket on the black market now cost 75 percent less than what they used to cost.
A ticket scalper outside the Beijing National Stadium on Thursday night said that before Liu Xiang fell out from the competition, an 800-yuan (about US$107) could fetch prices up to ten times its current worth.
When it was announced that Liu would no longer compete in the race, one scalper was willing to part with a ticket for 2,500 yuan two days ago. As of Thursday night, 2,000 yuan the maximum price scalpers were willing to sell the tickets for.
However, some last-minute buyers who arrived at the stadium said that even without Liu, having a chance to be inside of the stadium was worth the exorbitant ticket price in itself.
Krass, an information systems consultant from Germany, began his bicycling trip around the world from his hometown of Frankfurt in March, and deliberately planned his schedule so that he could be in Beijing in August. Dressed in a T-shirt and shorts, he was found negotiating with scalpers to buy a ticket into the stadium.
“2,000 yuan, it’s worth it. There are so many people in China, so there’s no fear of having no buyers for these tickets,” said Krass.
The original in Chinese