The Philippines suffered defeat on the opening day of competition ©IIHF

Mongolia and Thailand claimed victories as the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Challenge Cup of Asia began in Manila.

The competition features five top division teams, with the opening matches taking place at the SM Mall of Asia Ice Skating Rink.

Mongolia began their effort to improve upon their silver medal from the 2017 event with a victory over Singapore.

The two teams proved evenly matched in the first period of the contest, finishing 1-1.

Mongolia edged away in the final two periods of the contest, securing a 5-3 win over their rivals.

Thailand began the competition is a victory ©Getty Images
Thailand began the competition is a victory ©Getty Images

Thailand also began impressively, with last year’s bronze medallists earning a 7-4 win over hosts The Philippines.

Competition is due to continue tomorrow when Mongolia take on Kuwait.

The United Arab Emirates are not defending their title in Manilla.

The team who finish bottom of the standings when the tournament concludes on Sunday (April 8) will be relegated to the second tier.

Malaysia won the Second Division last month and will be promoted to the top division for next year’s event.