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Athletes to get more tickets for family members

The father of Olympic cyclist Chris Hoy has complained about the ticketing process. Credit: Reuters, Phil Noble

All British track and field athletes will get free tickets for their families to watch them perform in every round at London 2012.

Team GB competitors currently receive two tickets for their first Games appearance through the British Olympic Association.

But UK Athletics has announced that it will also buy tickets for each subsequent round - so that athletes can be supported by their nearest and dearest right through to the final.

UK Athletics CEO Niels de Vos said: "This is essentially a performance decision - the last thing we want athletes to be worrying about is the cost or availability of tickets for their mum and dad, boyfriend or girlfriend, husband or wife.

"But it is also about recognising that without the massive support and sacrifice of friends and family, over many years, most athletes would never have made it to elite level."

British Pole Vaulter Holly Bleasdale said: "I'm so happy to hear this. For me having people close to me there and supporting me is a big boost. I always compete to my best when I'm at my happiest, so to hear this is great."

Earlier this month David Hoy, father of four-time Olympic cycle champion Sir Chris, said he was finding it tough getting hold of tickets to watch him compete in London.

He told the BBC: "I don't think athletes' families have been taken into consideration. It's not rocket science."