A straight-sets victory on Tuesday saw Iran overcome Chinese Taipei at the Tokyo 2020 volleyball Asian qualifiers in in Jiangmen, China.
Igor Kolakovic’s men, seeking a second consecutive place at the Olympics, cruised to win with a 3-0 (25-16, 25-17, 25-14) scoreline in their Pool A opener.
Pouria Yali topped the scoring for Iran with 14 points, followed by Pouria Fayyazi who chipped in 10.
"Today we respected our opponents as we played one game several months ago in the Asian Championship and they played good volleyball,” Kolakovic said after the game.
“Today I am so happy because it was an important victory for us. We must continue in this way when we face Kazakhstan," the Montenegrin added.
The Asian powerhouse takes on Kazakhstan – which was beaten by China 3-0 (25-19, 25-14, 25-18) in the final game of the day – on Wednesday before facing the host on Thursday.
Eight teams are pitted in two groups at the Asian qualifiers.
In Pool B, Qatar beat India in three sets earlier on Tuesday before Australia defeated South Korea 3-2 (23-25, 25-23, 26-24, 20-25, 19-17).
Top two sides of each group will qualify for the semifinals with the winner of the competition joining the host of the Games Japan, as well as Argentina, Brazil, Italy, Poland, Russia and USA, who had secured their spots through the intercontinental qualifiers last August.
There are also four other berths at stake as Berlin, Germany (Europe), Cairo, Egypt (Africa), Santiago, Chile (South America) and Vancouver, Canada (North, Central America and Caribbean) host the continental qualifiers on January 5-12.