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Near sellout at World shears champs in Invercargill

World shearing and woolhandling championships organisers have just announced a near sell-out of the last two nights on Friday and Saturday in Invercargill.

Event media manager Nick Jeffrey said that while tickets are available for tonight's World Championship Speedshear, tomorrow night is sold out and barely 100 tickets remain available for the finals night, which with extra tiered seating brought into the ILT Stadium Southland stadium will boost the crowd for the showdown to over 4000.

Shearing Sports New Zealand chairman and five-times World individual champion Sir David Fagan said if someone had asked two years ago if he thought he'd ever see 4000 at a shearing event in New Zealand he would have said "No!"

"I think we have totally under-estimated the impact this venue would have on the whole event," he said. "It all comes down to the profile drawn to the event by those in Invercargill, including the Invercargill City Council and organisers who've made the event happen with more than 4500 sheep and competitor numbers boosted to over 300 with the inclusion of the associated Southland All Nations events.

"This is absolutely brilliant," he said. "The ILT Stadium Southland has made it the best event ever."