Apparently, I was one of the lucky 3.94% of hopefuls who applied for the table tennis sessions, which is the 4th most requested event at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Needless to say, I was over the moon when I received the first e-mail from Kingdom Sports Group.
The happiness was short-lived though. When the follow-up came a couple of hours later, I was disappointed to find out that we were only selected for 1 session out of the 10 we applied, and that also meant it was 1 out of the 3 Women’s Singles Round 3 sessions.
Feng Tianwei was the main reason why we wanted to watch the Olympics in person (plus, supporting any other Singaporean players who qualify would be a bonus). Assuming FTW qualifies as a seeded player this time and based on her previous Olympics track record, she is most likely to start from Round 3. However in our case, we might have a guaranteed ticket, but we only have a one-third chance of watching her match.
Another concern was the seat allocation will be given at random, which meant there is a risk that we will be seated away from the table we want to watch. Well, we could go around the stadium asking people if they will be willing to switch places with us, but it’s just wishful thinking.
Hoping to justify reasons to travel to Tokyo for this once-in-a-lifetime experience, I scoured through accommodation options near Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium for that period but was turned off by the grossly-inflated prices. S$600 per night for a 3-star hotel? No thanks. Prices at Airbnb were surprisingly higher at around S$1,000 per night on average.
KSG later announced customized packages that include accommodation with top-ups for tickets to selected events. I was tempted and ready to jump the gun. Not surprisingly, the cheapest accommodation option came up to USD5,575 for 6 nights at a 3-star hotel, excluding tickets. That’s still way beyond our budget.
Even the general sale of standalone tickets, which is supposed to happen in the later part of this year, has been suspended due to unprecedented demand in Japan and overseas. Hence, it’s safe to conclude that it’s going to be a close-to-zero chance that we could get more tickets from this phase.
Besides the fact that this could be FTW’s last Olympics, there are no good reasons why we should pay a premium and take the risk to travel all the way to Tokyo for the table tennis events. After days of contemplating, I forwent the tickets and resigned to fate that I will be staying at home to catch the Olympics action instead.
As for the savings and miles which I have set aside for this Olympics, I have plans to put them to better use for another trip…