By Duncan Mackay

Brazili fans_Beijing_2008January 28 - There is unprecedented demand among Brazilians who want to see the Olympics in London this year as Rio de Janeiro prepares to host the Games in 2016.

More than 25,000 tickets have already been sold, figures released by authorised ticket seller Tamayo Internacional Agencia have revealed, with that number set to raise even higher before the Olympics open on July 27.

As many as 40,000 Brazilians could eventually buy tickets for London 2012. 

"There are still around 10,000 tickets available," said Antonio Carlos Valente, the head of Tamayo Internacional Agencia.

"Brazilians have a habit of leaving everything to the last minute, so I believe that sales will accelerate now that we have entered in 2012."

Interest in attending the Olympics has been steadily increasing among Brazilians as its economy has established itself as one of the fastest growing in the world.

Only 8,000 travelled to Sydney for the Olympics in 2000 but it began creeping up after that with 12,000 to Athens in 2004 and 18,000 to Beijing in 2008. 

The most popular tickets for Brazilians at London 2012 are the volleyball at Earls Court and the beach volleyball at Horse Guards Parade, representing 44 per cent of the total allocation sold. 

That is no surprise as volleyball is the second most popular sport in Brazil behind football and the country's second most successful Olympic sport since they made their debut in the Games at Antwerp in 1920.

Brazil has won a total of 16 medals in both disciplines of the sport, including five gold.

Brazil women_celebrate_winning_Beijing_2008
Their women will go into London 2012 as the defending champions in indoor volleyball having triumphed at Beijing 2008. 

After volleyball, the most popular sport is basketball with eight per cent and, not surprisingly, football and athletics with seven per cent. 

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