Qatar were too strong for India ©Asian Handball Federation

Qatar were away to a winning start in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games men's handball Asian qualifiers in front of their home crowd, with an emphatic 49-14 victory over Hong Kong, China at the Duhail Sports Arena in Doha.

The Qataris have won the last three Asian championships in a row and also took gold at the 2018 Asian Games.

They were always in control the the Preliminary Group A match, and led 19-16 at the halfway mark before extending their advantage in the closing stages.

Saudi Arabia also opened with a victory but their match against India was much closer.

They eventually ran out winners 35-24.

Qatar will face India on Saturday in their next match, whilst Saudi Arabia meet Hong Kong, China.

Overall victory in the eight-team tournament will ensure qualification for Tokyo.

The runners up have another chance to book a berth at the International Handball Federation qualification tournaments in April.