Germany made a winning start to the final qualifier ©World ParaVolley

Hosts Germany made a winning start to the final men’s sitting volleyball qualifier for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games in Duisburg.

The opening match of the tournament saw Germany secure a straight-sets 25-7, 25-19, 25-16 win over Canada in Group A.

The Canadian team hoped to respond from the setback in their second match of the day.

However, they were unable to prevent Kazakhstan from earning a 25-13, 25-8, 25-17 victory.

Germany and Kazakhstan will compete tomorrow to determine the Group A winners.

Ukraine triumphed in the opening Group B match of the tournament, as they overcame Croatia 25-22, 25-16, 25-15.

Ukraine and Croatia will play the United States in tomorrow’s two Group B ties.

All six teams will feature in the next stage of the competition, with their final group rankings helping to determine fixtures.

Teams will hope to earn places in the semi-finals on Friday (June 4).

Gold- and bronze-medal matches will take place the following day.

Only the tournament winners will advance to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Paralympic hosts Japan, world champions Iran, China, Russia, Brazil, Egypt and Bosnia and Herzegovina have already qualified for the men's event at the Paralympics.

The Paralympic tournament is scheduled to take place in the Japanese capital from August 24 to September 5.

Latvia had been due to compete at the qualifier but withdrew from the event because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated risks.

World ParaVolley had originally planned to hold the qualifying event in Oklahoma in the United States in March 2020.

The tournament was then moved to Duisburg and was rescheduled to February 15 to 19 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the postponement of Tokyo 2020.

The qualifier was delayed again to June amid the further complications caused by the pandemic.