The official London 2012 Olympics website crashed last night as thousands of Brits tried to apply for tickets just an hour before the final deadline.

Web users could register via the site for one of the 6.6 million tickets to watch event at the sporting competition, which will be held in London next year, until 11:59pm on April 26.

However, at 10:30pm many web users reported delays on the site, while others were presented with a webpage that said: "We're experiencing high demand. You will be automatically directed to the page requested as soon as it becomes available. Thank you for your patience".

As a result the deadline was extended by an hour to 1am, April 27.

"Some people experienced temporary delay in accessing the Olympic ticketing site following a surge of applications around 10.30pm," said a spokesman for the website.

"We apologise for any inconvenience this delay may have caused."

Andres Edler managing director at Hostway UK said it was apparent for a very long time that millions of people were going to visit the site in the hope of a seat at the London Olympics.

"Clearly a lot of people left it to the very last minute. Irrespective of the sudden late surge of demand, you would expect ticketing websites in this day and age to build in adequate capacity and utilise better traffic management practices to cope with the excess of visitors," said Edler.

"The ticket allocation process for London 2012 has already come in for a lot of criticism, but now the organisers could be faced with a thousands of disappointed sports fans who were unable to even get online."