The second-chance scramble for seats at next year's London Olympics has hit fresh trouble when the website selling tickets temporarily crashed.
A 10-day first-come, first-served chance to pick up 2.3 million unsold tickets began at 6am on Friday but immediately hit problems due to a surge in demand.
"It was like being at a tube station at rush hour – we had a few people held at the gates," a spokeswoman for London 2012 said. "But it's now transacting, people are purchasing tickets."
The second opportunity to buy tickets came as the system for allotting places was branded "a bit of a shambles" by Bradley Wiggins, the three-times Olympic cycle champion.
Wiggins, among 1.2 million people who missed out on tickets in a first-round ballot, said: "I think, as most of the public feels, it's a bit of a shambles.
"It's a shame when you know what works so successfully in other Olympic Games, certainly Athens, that they couldn't implement those ticket systems here."
Jeremy Hunt, the Olympics minister, defended the process. "I don't want to be arrogant about this ... and say we got everything right at every stage," he told the Times. "But if you look at the basic principles, the call was to make a lot of tickets available at low cost price and I think that was the right call."
Would-be buyers were using Twitter to vent their frustrations. "Has been processing payment for over an hour now, even though it says not to click back or refresh, that can't be right can it?" wrote Simon Tipple.
London 2012 was flooded with 22 million requests from 1.9 million people when 6.6 million tickets were originally made available to the public. So far 3 million tickets have been sold.
The second chance sale includes tickets for 310 sessions including 44 medal events, but 1.7 million of the tickets are for football matches.
There have been sell-outs for 21 events including the ceremonies, diving, swimming and tennis.
Anyone who got tickets in the first round sale will get another chance to buy from 6am on 8 July to 6pm on 17 July.
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