By Tom Degun at the Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy

karate 11November 23 - Tickets for the finals of the 2012 World Karate Championships here in Paris, where all the medals for the prestigious competition will be awarded, have sold out.

The event at the 16,000 capacity venue here has proved hugely popular with the French crowds after the eliminator rounds began earlier this week and concluded today.

But the weekend will see the climax of the event as the finals take place and the Worldwide Karate Federation (WFK) has confirmed that all tickets for the last two days of the Championships have now been bought.

It means that up to 32,000 spectators will witness the closing stages of karate's showpiece event, which is a major boost for the WKF as the Championships are serving as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Evaluation event for the sport's bid to appear at the 2020 Olympic Games.

karate 13The 2012 World Karate Championships in Paris are proving hugely popular with the final two days now sold out

"The interest in these World Championships has been amazing," WKF general secretary George Yerolimpos told insidethegames.

"There are so many fans that want to see the event but there has also been huge interest from the media.

"We have around 300 journalists accredited for the competition and 17 television stations recording, which is incredible.

"This certainly helps us in our bid to join the Olympic Games."

The 2012 Championships are the 21st edition of the event since it began in Tokyo in 1970 and the second time the competition has been staged in Paris after it was first held in the French capital in 1972.

The five-day 2012 competition will conclude on Sunday (November 25) and the sport is one of seven bidding to make the 2020 Olympic programme alongside climbing, roller sport, squash, wakeboard, wushu, and baseball and softball, which are making a joint bid.

After attending a major championships for each of the bidding sports by the end of the year, the IOC will compile a report on the merits of each discipline and its bid.

The IOC will then make a final decision on which sport to include at its Session in Buenos Aires in September 2013.

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