Miryam Roper claimed an emotional gold for Panama today ©IJF

Miryam Roper claimed Panama's maiden medal at an International Judo Federation (IJF) tour event with under 57 kilograms gold on the opening day of the Grand Slam in Ekaterinburg.

The 34-year-old, who was born in Germany to a German mother and Panamanian father, is a two-time Olympian who won a bronze medal at the 2013 World Championships for her birth country.

She switched nationality after being left out of the German team post-Rio, fighting without a coach at the Palace of Sports after being funded by the IJF to compete.

However, adversity can sometimes prove the best motivation and Roper proved the truth of this statement with a series of dazzling performances.

She beat 2014 world champion Nae Udaka of Japan with an ippon in the final. 

Brazil's Olympic champion Rafaela Silva shared bronze with Jessica Klimkait of Canada.

Japan did enjoy a good day of competition with three gold medals.

Olympic bronze medallist Ami Kondo secured a fourth Grand Slam title in the under 48kg division. 

She outclassed Russian opponent Sabina Giliazova with a ushiro-kesa-gatame hold as France#s Melanie Clement and Kazakhstan's Otgongsetseg Galbadrakh each took bronze.

Newcomer Ryuju Nagayama beat Georgia's 2013 European champion Amiran Papinashvili in the men's under 60kg category by a similarly comfortable margin.

He produced three waza-ari's to ease to gold as Cedric Revol of France and Albert Oguzov of Russia each took bronze.

Erika Miranda of Brazil, left, was among other winners today ©IJF
Erika Miranda of Brazil, left, was among other winners today ©IJF

Soichi Hasimoto won a third career gold in the men's under 73kg division to continue a two year unbeaten record in tour events.

He beat surprise finallist Marcelo Contini of Brazil with two waza-ari scores.

France took another two bronze medals courtesy of Pierre Duprat and Benjamin Axus.

Brazil's three-time World Championship medallist Erika Miranda was another day one winner after rolling over Russian opponent Alesya Kuznetsova in added time of the women's under 52kg final.

Amandine Buchard of France and Natalia Kuziutina of Russia shared bronze.

Russia did enjoy some success today courtesy of Antalya Grand Prix winner Abdula Abdulzhalilov.

He claimed under 66kg spoils by beating Charles Chibana of Brazil after his opponent was disqualified for attempting to illegally turn out of a throw by bridging.

Dzmitry Minkou of Belarus and Islam Khametov of Russia each took bronze medals.

Germany's Martyna Trajdos secured the day's other gold in the women's under 63kg division.

The 2015 Tokto Grand Slam winner held down Ekaterina Valkova of Russia for 20 seconds to claim gold.

Brazil's Mariana Silva and Britain's Amy Livesey shared the final two podium positions.

Action in the remaining seven divisions will take place tomorrow.

Watch all the latest judo action on Judo TV here.