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(Daegu Athletics) Daegu attendance exceeds previous two championships: IAAF
By Yoo Jee-ho
DAEGU, Sept. 4 (Yonhap) -- The total attendance at the World Championships in Athletics here has already surpassed figures from the previous two championships with the final day of competition still under way, the international athletics governing body said Sunday.

   The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said the 13th biennial competition has attracted 411,111 fans, or nearly 91 percent capacity, to Daegu Stadium through Saturday. The nine-day competition is set to end later Sunday.

   The stadium seats 66,422 people but it opened only 34,030 seats for the championships except on the opening night, when 46,379 seats were available.

   The IAAF estimated a near-sellout crowd for Sunday, and expected total attendance to reach 445,000.

   The number of tickets sold was 464,381 through Saturday, outnumbering actual attendance over the same period. Corporate sponsors of the championships purchased tickets in bulk, some of which were never used.

   The organizers' target for tickets sold was 454,000. The IAAF noted that Berlin in 2009 sold about 397,000 and Osaka some 254,000 four years ago.

   There had been concerns about staging the championships to a small crowd because of athletics' lack of popularity in South Korea. The biggest single day turnout was 33,772 Saturday, when Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt won his second straight 200-meter title at 19.40 seconds, the fourth fastest in history.