Kazakhstan's Otgongtsetseg Galbadrakh provided the home spoils on the opening day of the International Judo Federation (IJF) Grand Prix in Almaty today with a superb victory in the under 48 kilograms division.
Galbadrakh, ranked third in the world, defeated South Korea's Dusseldorf Grand Prix winner Jeong Bo Kyeong in the final to strengthen her grasp on a seeded position for her first Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in August.
Two shido penalties suffered by the South Korean proved decisive, with the latter incurred with just five seconds to go.
The Kazakh fighter, who switched nationality from Mongolia last year, has now secured a podium finish in all seven of her 2016 events including gold at the Paris Grand Slam.
Nathalia Brigida of Brazil and Maryna Cherniak of Ukraine claimed the two bronze medals.
It came on an opening day in which fighters from five different nations secured gold medals in the Kazakh city.
Italy's Elios Manzi achieved the shock result of the day in the under 60kg division, with the 20-year-old ousting another home favourite in Rustam Ibrayev.
Ibrayev fought well, but is unlikely to have convinced the selectors to consider him over the world champion Yeldos Smetov, who was rested and watched from the stands.
Sharafuddin Lutfillaev and Diyorbek Urozboev, both of Uzbekistan, shared bronze.
Evelyne Tschopp of Switzerland also engineered a European success after beating Baku Grand Slam winner Gili Cohen of Israel in the under 52kg final.
The 24-year-old, who won with a superb kesa-gatame hold for 20 seconds, became the first Swiss woman to win gold at an IJF Grand Prix and could now be in line for an invitation to the World Judo Masters.
Park Da Sol of South Korea and Agata Perenc of Poland shared the final spot on the podium.
There was more Polish success in the women's under 57kg division when Arleta Podolak defeated Spain's Jaione Equisoain with a decisive juji-gatame as Liu Yang of China and Antomne Pavia of France shared bronze.
Japanese newcomer Joshiro Maruyama claimed under 66kg men's spoils on his Grand Prix debut, launching Kazakhstan's Zhansay Smagulov into the air for a uchi-mata.
Kilian Le Blouch of France and Yeldos Zhumakanov of Kazakhstan shared bronze.