Tournament favourites Iran made a winning start in China ©FIVB

Favourites Iran began the Men's Volleyball Asian Olympic Qualification Tournament by brushing aside Chinese Taipei in straight sets in Jiangmen.

The Asian champions proved far too strong in the Pool A encounter in the Chinese city, winning 25-16, 25-17, 25-14.

Porya Ali starred for the Iranians with 14 points at Jiangmen Sports Center Gymnasium.

"Today we respected our opponents as we played one game several months ago in the Asian Championship and they played good volleyball," Iran head coach Igor Kolakovic said.

"Today I am so happy because it was an important victory for us." 

Only the winner of the tournament will book their place at this year's Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Hosts China also began in winning fashion in Pool A on day one, seeing off Kazakhstan 25-19, 25-14, 25-18.

In Pool B, Australia came out on top in a five-set thriller with South Korea, 23-25, 25-23, 26-24, 20-25, 19-17.

Thailand's women got off to a strong start on home soil ©FIVB
Thailand's women got off to a strong start on home soil ©FIVB

There was also a straight-sets win for Qatar, who beat India 25-22, 25-20, 25-23.

The top two sides in each group will reach the semi-finals, with action continuing tomorrow.

In the women's tournament, taking place at the Korat Chatchai Hall in Nakhon Ratchasima in Thailand, the host nation opened with a 25-16, 25-21, 25-16 success over Chinese Taipei in the three-team Pool A.

Pool B saw a straight-sets victory for Kazakhstan over Iran, 25-14, 25-16, 25-14, while South Korea beat Indonesia 25-18, 25-10, 25-9.

As with the men's tournament, only the overall winners will qualify for Tokyo 2020, with the top two in each pool reaching the last four.

Matches continue tomorrow.