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7th Boys’ Youth World Championships off to flying start

The curtain went up on the 7th FIVB Boys’ Youth World Championships on Saturday with preliminary round matches and an official opening ceremony that celebrated youth and reflected all the effervescence appropriate to the occasion.

Enthusiastic cheers from flag-waving supporters greeted national teams as they marched into the International Stadium Complex for the flag raising ceremony, followed by a colourful cultural program from the host country.

In his address to the opening ceremony, carried by Egyptian national television, FIVB Executive Vice-President and President of the National Organising Committee, Dr. Amir Elwani welcomed participating teams to the championships saying: "We pledge ourselves to do our utmost to pursue the goals of the 2001 Boys’ Youth World Championships.”

Qualifying teams are Egypt, Poland, Czech Republic, France, Iran, Chinese Taipei, Russia, Korea, Venezuela, Slovakia, Brazil, Argentina, Tunisia and Mexico. Italy, the other qualifying team, is not attending.

The competition, which runs until September 30, got underway with opening matches in the preliminary round where qualifying teams are divided into four pools for a round robin competition.