Japan's players celebrate on the podium after winning the Asian Women's Volleyball Cup ©Getty Images

Japan have won the Asian Women’s Volleyball Cup title for the first time after a four-game victory over China.

China were chasing a sixth win in this continental tournament, and beat Japan in straight sets to win the previous edition in 2018, but Japan sprung a surprise at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City, Philippines.

Japan took the first two games 25-23 and 23-21 in the final, before China threatened to mount a fightback in defence of their crown by taking game three 25-19.

Japan sealed victory, and a first win in this competition, by taking the fourth game 25-16 to complete the triumph.

Japan and China both went unbeaten through their pools in the preliminary round, before winning their qualification round matches against Iran 3-1 and Australia 3-0 respectively.

In the semi-final round China were pushed all the way by Thailand before winning through to the final by a scoreline of 19-25, 25-20, 25-14, 23-25, 15-10.

Meanwhile, Japan defeated Vietnam 3-1, although they were pushed hard by their opponents, who took a marathon third game by 36 points to 34.

Bronze medals in the tournament went to Thailand, who overcame Vietnam 25-19, 26-24, 25-18.

In the fifth place match, Chinese Taipei beat hosts the Philippines 28-26, 25-21, 25-21, while in the seventh place match Iran overcame Australia 25-19, 25-18, 25-22.