Lu'an, Anhui province: The 2010 International Women's Beach Handball Tournament Open kicked off in the city of Lu'an, East China's Anhui province, on July 30, drawing more than 200 participants on six teams from China and overseas.
The three-day event, organized by the China Handball Association and co-sponsored by the Lu'an city government with the Anhui provincial sports bureau, is a major world competition following the National Youth Rowing Championships held in the city in late May, and will help to showcase the all-round development of Lu'an, a city located in western Anhui.
At the opening ceremony held on Saturday in the city's Crescent Moon Island, Lu'an Mayor Zhang Shaochun extends his warmest welcome to the 70 athletes as well as coaches, judges and working staff from the world on behalf of the city's seven million residents.
The competition, scheduled for two and a half days, will witness contests among the No. 1 and the No.2 teams of Anhui, and four other teams from China's Shandong, Shanghai and Hong Kong as well as from France, said Feng Chao, chief of Anhui provincial sports bureau.
There will be 15 formal contests, three performance contests and one interesting challenge contest during the whole event, said Meng Wei, executive deputy-chairman of China Handball Association.
Lee Ka Lei, coach as well as an athlete for the Hong Kong team, said her team members are mainly composed of teachers, policemen and students from Hong Kong.
Zu Cuicui, an athlete from Anhui No. 2 team, said the Anhui team is actually the national team, and they represented China in the world beach handball tournaments held in Spain in 2008 and in Turkey this year.