China began the Olympic qualifier by defeating Finland ©FIVB

China started their bid to reach Tokyo 2020 with victory over Finland in the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) Men’s International Olympic Qualification Tournament.

There are six places at the 12-team tournament at Tokyo 2020 on offer this weekend.

At Beilun Sports and Arts Centre in Ningbo, hosts China started Pool F in style with a 25-22, 21-25, 25-22, 25-23 win over Finland.

"It is the first match for both teams and both teams were nervous," China captain Ji Daoshuai said.

"I think it is normal for us as most players of China are young with less experience of such competitions. 

"However, after the first two sets, we got used to the rhythm and reversed the disadvantage. 

"Tomorrow we have to be more concentrated and reduce our errors.”

In the pool's other match, Argentina defeated Canada 25-23, 22-25, 27-25, 25-23.

Brazil opened their Pool A account with victory over Puerto Rico ©FIVB
Brazil opened their Pool A account with victory over Puerto Rico ©FIVB

At the Palace of Culture and Sports in Varna, Bulgaria, Brazil cruised to a 25-23, 25-19, 25-19 Pool A win against Puerto Rico.

Hosts Bulgaria later eased past Egypt 25-11, 33-31, 19-25, 25-19.

Iran edged a thriller in the first Pool E match at the Sibur Arena in Saint Petersburg.

Their experience told in a tense match as they ran out 23-25, 26-28, 25-17, 15-16, 15-10 winners against Cuba.

Reigning European champions Russia followed up by inflicting a 25-15, 25-11, 25-17 defeat on Mexico.

In Pool B hosts the Netherlands fought back from 2-0 down at Rotterdam Ahoy to defeat South Korea 23-25, 25-27, 26-24, 25-20, 15-12.

Three-time Olympic champions the United States are on the road in their quest to make Tokyo 2020 and they secured a 25-20, 25-19, 17-25, 25-18 win against Belgium in the pool's second match.

Reigning world champions Poland cruised to a 25-15, 25-19, 25-19 Pool D win against Tunisia at Ergo Arena in Gdańsk.

France defeated Slovenia 26-24, 25-20, 25-23 in the pool's other game.

Serbia opened their Pool C account with a 26-28, 25-19, 25-19, 30-32 triumph against Australia at Palaflorio in Bari, Italy.

Italy won 25-18, 25-18, 25-16 against Cameroon.

The pools continue tomorrow with the second group matches of three.