Russia won three gold medals as action begun today at the International Blind Sport Federation (IBSA) European Judo Championships in the English town of Walsall.
Olga Zabrodskaia was among the country's athlete to taste victory at the University of Wolverhampton Sports Complex, winning the women’s up to 70 kilograms category.
She finished the round-robin competition undefeated to claim gold ahead of Croatia’s Lucija Breskovic and Great Britain’s Natalie Greenhough, who won silver and bronze respectively.
There was also Russian success in the women’s over 70kg with Tatiana Savostyanova crowned European champion after going unbeaten in the round-robin competition.
Defending champion Mesme Tasbag had to settle for silver with the Turkish judoka’s only defeat of the competition coming against Savostyanova.
Russia’s other victory came courtesy of Vasili Kutuev, who triumphed at the expense of Germany’s Nikolai Kornhass in the men’s up to 73kg category final.
With less than 10 seconds left of the final, Rio 2016 Paralympic bronze medallist Kornhass tried to acrobatically escape as Kutuev piled on the pressure.
But Kornhass was disqualified due to the technique he used on the counter attack, meaning the title went to Kutuev.
Kutuev beat Paralympic gold medallist Gasimov of Azerbaijan with a waza-ari to secure his final spot, while Kornhass overcame world number one Dmytro Solovey of Ukraine.
Azerbaijan’s Bayram Mustafayev and Ukraine’s Davyd Khorava met in the men’s up to 66kg division final in a repeat of the 2013 and 2015 European Championships.
Mustafayev got the better of Khorava on those two occasions, but a waza-ari from the Ukrainian was enough to win gold and deny his opponent a third successive continental title.
Romania’s Alex Bologa secured his maiden title in the men’s up to 60kg.
The Paralympic bronze medallist put Spain’s Sergio Ibanez Banon under prolonged pressure in the final before sealing the victory with an ippon finish.
Ukraine’s Oleksandr Kosinov won gold for the third successive Championships in the men’s up to 81kg, beating the highly-experienced French judoka Cyril Jonard in the final.
Tomorrow, the men will compete at under-90kg, under-100kg and over-100kg, while the women will take to the tatami at under-48kg, under-52kg, under-57kg and under-33kg.