ZAGREB, YUGOSLAVIA, JULY 8 -- The XIV World University Games, bringing together 5,500 athletes from more than 125 countries, officially opened today with an Olympic-style ceremony designed to set the tone for the "Student Olympics."

Lazar Mojsov, president of Yugoslavia, declared the Games open following a colorful ceremony in Zagreb's Dinamo stadium, including a parade by the competing athletes.

Officially, delegations from 128 countries had arrived by tonight, teams from Burkina-Fasso and Mongolia being the latest to sign in. Competition in eight of the 12 sports will begin Thursday.

Some 12,500 persons participated in the ceremony, which included the lighting of an Olympic-style flame, musical performances and fireworks.

Yugoslav athlete Slobodanka Colovic took the oath on behalf of all the competitors, promising competition "in the true spirit of friendship, fair play and sportsmanship."

To highlight the Olympic parallel, International Olympic Committee President Juan Antonio Samaranch was the guest of honor at the stadium, which a crowd of 70,000 filled to capacity.

Swimming will lead Thursday's program, with fencing, soccer, gymnastics, canoeing, basketball, volleyball, water polo, track and field, rowing, diving and tennis being contested on succeeding days at the Games, which will continue until July 19.