Australia won their first match of the IWBF Asia Oceania Championships in China ©IWBF

Australia made an emphatic start to their men's title defence on the opening day of the 2017 International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) Asia Oceania Championships.

The Australians, who beat Iran 78-60 in the 2015 final, have been drawn in Group A alongside Chinese Taipei and Iraq at the Chinese Paralympic Training Venue.

It did not take long to show their title credentials once again as they brushed aside Iraq 107-23 today.

Hosts China also collected a comfortable win on day one, thrilling their home supporters with an 87-34 win over Afghanistan in Group D. 

Elsewhere in that group, South Korea were easy 90-21 winners over the United Arab Emirates.

Iran began their attempts to go one further than in 2015 with an 85-31 win over Saudi Arabia in Group C.

Thailand joined the Iranians at the top of the standings after collecting an 85-54 win over New Zealand.

Japan, the 2015 bronze medallists, opened their Group B account with a 96-21 demolition over Kuwait.

An Opening Ceremony was held before today's competition ©IWBF
An Opening Ceremony was held before today's competition ©IWBF

The women’s competition opened with another victory for the hosts.

China overcame Australia 53-44 while Japan also took maximum points from their opening match after defeating Iran 86-15.

An Opening Ceremony officially got proceedings underway earlier today.

Teams are battling to secure places at next year’s World Championships.

The four semi-finalists in the men's event will secure a ticket to the 2018 World Championships, scheduled to take place in Hamburg next year from August 17 to 26.

With only two spots available at the World Championships for the women’s teams, Australia, Iran, Japan and hosts China will play a round-robin to determine semi-final placings with the victorious sides ensuring their passage to Hamburg.