Japan will bid for a third straight Asian title ©Getty Images

Japan will bid for a third Asian Men's Volleyball Championship in a row at this year's event which begins in Iran tomorrow.

The top seeds are also the record winners of the competition, triumphing nine times in all.

They have been placed in Pool B in Tehran, which will host matches across the Azadi Indoor Stadium and Azadi Volleyball Hall venues.

Chinese Taipei, Thailand and Hong Kong are also in the group.

Hosts Iran, who won the 2011 and 2013 tournaments back-to-back, will look for home success from Pool A.

The gold medallists from the last two Asian Games will meet Australia, Qatar and Sri Lanka.

In Pool C, second seeds Kazakhstan will aim to go one better after losing the final last time out to Japan, in four sets in Gresik in Indonesia in 2017.

They have been drawn with three-time champions China, Oman and India.

Kazakhstan start the event as second seeds and reigning silver medallists ©Getty Images
Kazakhstan start the event as second seeds and reigning silver medallists ©Getty Images

Third seeds and four-time winners South Korea have been placed in Pool D with fourth seeds Indonesia.

This means an early repeat of the 2017 bronze-medal match, won in straight sets by the Koreans.

Kuwait and Pakistan complete the pool.

The top two teams from each pool will reach the quarter-finals and also qualify for the Asian Olympic Qualification Tournament for Tokyo 2020.

The final is scheduled for September 21.

Asian action is taking place alongside the Men's European Volleyball Championship which began today across four countries: Belgium, France, The Netherlands and Slovenia.

Defending champions Russia opened with a four-set win over Turkey in Pool C, 25-13, 23-25, 25-17, 25-15 at Arena Stožice in Ljubljana.

In the same pool Finland beat North Macedonia 25-23, 25-22, 23-25, 25-21 and co-hosts Slovenia won in straight sets against Belarus, 25-17, 25-14, 25-19.

Pool A at Sud de France Arena in Montpellier saw hosts France see off Romania 25-19, 25-14, 25-16.

Bulgaria beat Greece 25-22, 25-16, 25-20 and Italy downed Portugal 25-21, 25-10, 25-22.