Spain's Crown Prince Felipe presided Friday over the inauguration of the 2013 Men's Handball World Championship in Madrid.
Felipe, honorary chairman of the organizing committee, watched the first days' events on Friday from the official box, together with Spanish Olympic Committee President Alejandro Blanco and others, as Spain debuted against Algeria.
The lead-up to the tourney consisted of a simple ceremony during which a parade of volunteers waved the flags of the 25 teams competing in the World Championship, with the colors of Spain and of the International Handball Federation closing the march.
The Spanish flag-bearer was Jose Javier Hombrados, captain of the team but unfortunately out of the World Championship with an injury.
Juan de Dios Roman, president of the organizing committee and of the Spanish Federation, and Egypt's Hassan Moustafa, president of the IHF, officially kicked off the tourney.
In his opening speech, Roman welcomed one and all to "the grand festival" and noted that the venues in Madrid, Barcelona, Granollers, Guadalajara, Seville and Zaragoza "open their doors to the 24 best teams in the world and above all to their fans, with affection and respect for the true values of competition."
The 23rd Men's Handball World Championship, the first ever to be played in Spain, got started with the Spanish team coasting to a 27-14 victory over Algeria. EFE