Host Japan will play archrival South Korea, Poland, Kenya, Taiwan and Costa Rica in Group A in the first round of the women’s tournament at next year’s world volleyball championships.

The draw held Tuesday in Tokyo also put Athens Olympic champion China in Group B along with Russia, Germany, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Azerbaijan in the women’s group stage beginning on Oct. 31.

In the men’s first round kicking off on Nov. 17, Japan will meet Argentina, Poland, China, Egypt and Puerto Rico in Group A.

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