Women's competition, Rhodes
From 19 May To 23 May 2004

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Rain makes way for play in Rhodes
Rhodes, Greece, May 19, 2004 - The Greek island of Rhodes woke up to clear skies and soft sea breezes on Wednesday as the excitement surrounding the Swatch - FIVB World Tour continued to mount ahead of the first morning of play. It was quite a different story,however, on the eve of the Hellas Women's Open, which runs until May 23, with heavy rain showers causing a stir amongst quite a few of the competitors here.

Wednesday sees the first qualifying rounds with country quota qualification followed by the first qualification round proper. The last match of the day is scheduled to get underway at 9pm local time.

Speaking at a players and officials meeting held in Rhodes town hall on Tuesday, Deputy Mayor Kallistos Diakogeorgiou, welcomed all present to the island and the event, saying "I hope you all enjoy the goodness and warmth of Rhodes and its people. I would like to express my best wishes to all those taking part in the Hellas Open."

The Deputy Mayor continued, "As this is an Olympic year and with the Games taking place in Greece, we would like to offer every support for the success of the Olympic Games." Mr. Diakogeorgiou then noted that the three female medal winning teams at the Olympics would each be offered a free holiday in Rhodes.

Rhodes has developed into a solid base on the Swatch - FIVB World Tour, having successfully hosted Beach Volleyball events in 1996, '97, '98, 2002 and '03. With just three months to go to the Olympic Games, all eyes are currently on this picturesque island and the female athletes who will be giving their all to taste success.