Kyrgyzstan’s Beknazar Raiymku prevented hosts Russia from claiming victories in all seven finals in which they were represented on the opening day of the 2017 World Sambo Championships here after beating Bayzet Khotkhokhu to the combat men’s 74 kilograms title.
Raiymku triumphed 7-4 over Khotkhokhu, who was the only Russian to suffer defeat in a gold medal match today.
Bronze medals in the combat men’s 74kg category went the way of Uzbekistan’s Istam Kudratov and Ukraine’s Vladyslav Rudniev.
Khotkhokhu’s defeat came on the back of three Russian victories, starting with Mariiia Molchanova’s 3-0 success over Ukraine's Anastasiia Novikova in the women’s 48kg final.
Mukhtar Gamzaev then defeated Ukraine's Andrii Kucherenko 5-2 in the combat men’s 57kg final before Vladimir Balykov overcame Romania's Laszlo Szoke in the men’s 68kg final by establishing an eight-point advantage.
Bronze medals were won by France’s Milene Wojciak and Belarus’ Leila Abbasava in the women’s 48kg, Kyrgyzstan’s Uulu Amanat Altynbek and Mongolia’s Bayanduuren Gantumur in the combat men’s 57kg, and Bulgaria’s Martin Ivanov and Belarus’ Aliaksandr Koksha in the men’s 68kg.
Following Khotkhokhu’s loss, Russia went onto finish today’s action in style by claiming the women’s 72kg, men’s 90kg and combat men’s 100kg titles through Tatiana Zenchenko, Sergey Ryabov and Vadim Nemkov respectively.
Zenchenko beat Belarus’ Volha Namazava, prior to Ryabov defeating Uzbekistan's Nemat Yokubov and Nemkov overcoming Lithuania's Teodoras Aukštuolis.
Cuba’s Malena Riveaux Diaz and Georgia’s Nino Odzelashvili were the women’s 72kg bronze medallists, while Germany’s Helge Molt and Kazakhstan’s Alibek Zekenov shared the third step of the men’s 90kg podium.
Rounding out the combat men’s 100kg medallists were Ukraine’s Ihor Potieria and Kazakhstan’s Raikhan Madi.
In the first of two finals that did not feature a Russian sambist, Armenia's Tigran Kirakosyan beat defending champion Maralerdene Chimeddorj of Mongolia to the men’s 52kg title.
The second saw Ukraine's Anastasiya Shevchenko go one better than her silver medal-winning performance last year by defeating Belarus’ Katsiaryna Prakapenka to the women’s 60kg crown.
Kazakhstan’s Beimbet Kanzhanov and Russia’s Valerii Soronokov were the men’s 52kg bronze medallists.
The women’s 60kg podium was completed by Russia’s Olga Mitina and Romania’s Daniela Poroineanu.
Today's finals were preceded by a short Opening Ceremony.
International Sambo Federation President Vasily Shestakov addressed the crowd as part of the proceedings.
A traditional Parade of Nations was also conducted, while the host country's national anthem was sung by Anna Semenovich, a Russian vocalist, actress, model, and former competitive ice dancer.
A further nine sets of medals will be handed out tomorrow with the women’s 52kg, 64kg and 80kg categories taking centre stage along with the men’s 57kg, 74kg and 100kg, and combat men’s 62kg, 82kg and over 100kg.