Mukhriddin Tilovov marked his IJF World Tour debut with a surprise gold ©IJF

Mukhriddin Tilovov delivered a surprise result in the men’s under 60 kilogram competition to give Uzbekistan an ideal start to their home International Judo Federation (IJF) Grand Prix at the Uzbekistan Sport Complex in Tashkent.

It was Tilovov's debut on the IJF circuit and made his mark on the competition in stunning style, after progressing through to the final.

The new home hero ensured he would finish on top of the podium by securing a golden score victory over Slovenia’s Matjaz Trbovc.

Kazakhstan’s Bauyrzhan Zhauyntayev secured the first bronze medal by beating Azerbaijan’s Tofig Mammadov on shido penatlies.

The host nation sealed another podium place as Sharafuddin Lutfillaev scored a waza-ari to overcome Mongolia’s Amartuvshin Dashdavaa.

While Tilovov’s gold came as a shock, Japan’s former World Judo Masters bronze medallist Kengo Takaichi delivered a series of strong displays to justify his status as one of the favourites in the men’s under 66kg competition.

The 23-year-old, tipped as a potential contender at Tokyo 2020, achieved a waza-ari victory over Kazakhstan’s Azamat Mukanov, the 2013 World Championship silver medallist.

A waza-ari score was enough for Slovenia’s Andraz Jereb to beat Dzmitry Minkou of Belarus in the first bronze medal tie, while Mongolia’s Altansukh Dovdon secured a shido penalty victory over Uzbekistan’s Sardor Nurillaev, after his opponent was penalised three times.

Russia ended the opening day of competition top of the medals table, following victories for Mariia Persidskaia and Anastasiia Konkina in their respective women’s divisions.

Persidskaia proved too good for her rivals in the under 48kg category, overcoming her team-mate Lilia Lotfullina with an ippon in the final, which saw the 27-year-old secure her first IJF gold medal.

The Russian pair were joined on the podium by Uzbekistan’s Nodira Gulova and Mukaddas Kubeeva after their ippon victories over compatriot Munira Karimova and Kazakhstan’s Uldana Saiyl in their respective bronze medal bouts.

Russian judokas secured double gold on the first day of competition ©IJF
Russian judokas secured double gold on the first day of competition ©IJF

Konkina sealed the second Russian gold medal of the day, marking her IJF Grand Prix debut with three successive ippons, including in the under 57kg final against Luxembourg’s Manon Durbach.

Kazakhstan’s Sevara Nishanbayeva celebrated winning the first bronze medal by triumphing with an ippon in her match with Amangul Allanazarova of Uzbekistan.

Nishanbayeva’s team-mate Anna Kazyulina was less fortunate, as an illegal head dive saw her disqualified from her contest, leaving Uzbekistan’s 17-year-old Sanobar Sultanova to win a bronze medal.

A second gold medal of the day proved to be elusive for the host nation, as their cadet world champion Diyora Keldiyorova was beaten with a yuko by Aigunim Tuitekova of Kazakhstan in the women’s 52kg division.

Gulaim Jumabaeva added to the host nation’s growing medal collection by edging out Russia’s Aigul Tashtimirova in a golden score period to secure the first bronze medal.

The remaining medal was won by Croatia’s Tena Sikic, after she scored two waza-aris against Dildora Ubaydullaeva of Uzbekistan.

Competition is due to continue tomorrow in Tashkent with four weight categories scheduled to be contested.

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