Ryu Eun-hee scored thrice in a South Korean win ©Getty Images

Asian champions South Korea made an assured start to the International Handball Federation (IHF) Women's World Championship, defeating Congo 37-23.

Kim So-ra scored six goals as the South Koreans put themselves in a prime position from which to reach the second group stage.

They are not top of Group F, however, as Denmark recorded a bigger win in the second match in Granollers to seize top spot.

The Danes were too powerful for Tunisia and won 34-16, buoyed by Kathrine Heindahl's six goals.

In Group H, which includes hosts Spain, Austria defeated China 38-27 in Torrevieja in the group's only game today. 

Katarina Pandza was on target nine times and is the IHF Women's World Championship's top scorer.

Japan thrashed Paraguay 40-17 to take the early lead in Group G in Castelló, where Brazil were too strong for Croatia and earned a 30-25 victory.

Hungary and Germany started their Group E campaigns on winning notes in the day's other games in Llíria.

Hungary beat Slovakia 35-29; Germany saw off the Czechs 31-21.

The other four groups will be in action tomorrow, including Olympic champions France, defending champions The Netherlands and European queens Norway.