THE qualifying stage of the 14th annual Beach Volleyball under 21 World Championship (FIBV) got underway in Larnaca on Wednesday.
At 8pm, the town’s mayor Andreas Louroudjiatis launched the championship during the opening ceremony at Evropis Square.
The matches start on Thursday and will continue until Sunday, where the men’s and women’s finals will take place for the crowning of the champions.
There are 224 athletes participating from around the world. Matches will be carried out from 8am until 10pm at the eight courts containing FIBV-approved sand at the Phinikoudes beach.
Cypriot athletes pledged to give their 100 per cent and hope to celebrate victories.
Mayor Louroudjiatis said last month that 280 matches would take place over the five-day period and that the event was expected to attract 2,500 visitors and thousands of spectators.
The organisers said that area hotels were fully booked from visitors who travelled to Cyprus especially for the event.
The championship, which is held in memory of the late President Glafcos Clerides, is co-organised by the Larnaca municipality and the Cyprus Volleyball Federation.
Louroudjiatis hopes that his town, which hosted the Under 19 World Championship in 2012, will become a destination for international sports events.