Bulgaria proved far too strong for The Netherlands at the Men’s European Volleyball Olympic Qualification Tournament in Berlin ©FIVB

Bulgaria eased to a straight-sets win over The Netherlands to move top of Pool B at the Men's European Volleyball Olympic Qualification Tournament in Berlin.

Tsvetan Sokolov scored a team-high 13 points for the Bulgarians in a 25-19, 25-16, 25-15 victory at the German capital's Max-Schmeling-Halle.

It comes a day after a thrilling five-set win over France and puts them in first place in Pool B on five points.

France are second with four points, while Serbia are third with three.

Round-robin action is due to conclude tomorrow, when Serbia face Bulgaria and France meet The Netherlands.

Hosts Germany qualified for the semi-finals from Pool A, despite suffering a 34-32, 20-25, 25-19, 21-25, 12-15 loss at the hands of Slovenia today.

Slovenia have also progressed to the last four and can secure top spot with a win over Czech Republic tomorrow. 

The other match in Pool A saw Belgium register their first win at the third and final time of asking by beating Czech Republic 21-25, 28-26, 25-20, 22-25, 19-17. 

The top two teams in each pool at the conclusion of the round-robin stage will secure a spot in the semi-finals, scheduled for Thursday (January 9).

One place at this year's Olympic Games in Tokyo is on offer for the winner of the final on Friday (January 10).

The event is one of 10 Tokyo 2020 continental qualifiers for men and women taking place this week under the overall auspices of the International Volleyball Federation.

Each one offers progression for the winner.

The Women's European Olympic Qualification Tournament began today at the Omnisport Arena in Apeldoorn, where hosts The Netherlands defeated Azerbaijan 25-23, 25-18, 25-22 in Pool A.

Poland also made a winning start to Pool A, coming from behind to overcome Bulgaria 23-25, 25-20, 25-19, 25-22.

In Pool B, Germany beat Turkey 25-15, 21-25, 25-21, 25-21.

Also starting today was the Men's African Olympic Qualification Tournament in Cairo.

Tunisia were awarded a walkover win against Ghana, who have withdrawn from the event at the Cairo Stadium Indoor Halls Complex.

The three other competing teams - Algeria, Cameroon and hosts Egypt - have also been awarded a win.

Egypt later moved to two victories by defeating Algeria 25-18, 25-17, 21-25, 25-20.

On day three of the Women's African Olympic Qualification Tournament in Yaoundé, hosts Cameroon lost for the first time in the single five-team pool.

The Cameroonians fell to a 16-25, 25-23, 21-25, 25-23, 11-15 defeat against Kenya, who like their opponents came into the match having won their opening two matches.

Egypt picked up their first victory earlier in the day, overcoming Nigeria 25-11, 25-12, 25-13.