South Korea's Cholho Jo was one of three gold medallists on the opening day of the WTF Grand Prix Series 2 ©WTF

Russia, the United States and South Korea won one gold medal each on the opening day of the 2015 World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) Grand Prix Series 2 here.

In the first final of the evening, Russia's AnastasiIa Baryshnikova claimed a 5-3 victory against China’s Hua Zhang to take top honours in the women’s under 67 kilogram category.

Baryshnikova took an early one-point lead and then added another as she found her distance, winning the first round 2-0.

Round two started faster with Baryshnikova picking off her opponent with two more fast points, and although Zhang managed to claw back two points, she found herself behind going into the third.

The final period started with both girls wielding their front legs as Zhang scored again with a round kick fired from the clinch.

Zhang was chasing her opponent around the ring come the end of the bout, but Baryshnikova’s work rate early in the match ultimately paid dividends as she hung on for victory.

The bronze medals went to beaten semi-finalists Nur Tatar and Irem Yaman, both of Turkey.

In the women’s over 67kg final, world champion Bianca Walkden of Great Britain faced the US’s Jackie Galloway with the latter coming out on top.

Despite Walkden leading 1-0 deep into round three, Galloway evened things up in the dying seconds to take the match to a golden-point round.

Walkden went straight on the offensive, delivering two stabbing side kicks as her coach called for a head shot, but with no score awarded, combat restarted and it was Galloway who snatched the decisive point for gold.

Russia's Anastasiia Baryshnikova won women's under 67kg gold
Russia's Anastasiia Baryshnikova won women's under 67kg gold ©WTF

"I’m devastated because I thought my hook kick to the face had scored in sudden death," said Walkden, a bronze medallist at Grand Prix Series 1 in Moscow last month. 

"I am angry because the decision was rushed and it cost me gold.

"Overall, I did well and came through a tough competition and beat some good girls.

"I am getting back on track but I honestly believe I had scored with that shot."

Macedonia’s Petra Matijasevic and Croatia’s Iva Rados won the weight category’s bronze medals.

The highest-scoring fight of the evening was the men's over 80kg showdown, in which South Korea’s Cholho Jo got the better of Iran’s Sajjad Mardani.

Leading 6-3 after the first round, Jo went on to extend his advantage to 12-4 going into the third, where he stole yet another point with a front leg side kick.

Mardani started getting into his groove, winning points with punches and body kicks, but it was too little too late as the match ended 14-8. 

Uzbekistan's Dmitriy Shokin and Germany's Volker Wodzich shared the third step of the podium. 

A total of 232 athletes from 50 countries are competing in the WTF Grand Prix Series 2, which is set to continue until Sunday (September 20).

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