Distria Krasniqi secured gold within 15 seconds of the women's 48kg final ©IJF

Japan and Kosovo battled for gold medals on the opening day of the International Judo Federation's (IJF) World Judo Masters in Guangzhou.

Both the women's under-48 and under-57 kilogram divisions pitted judokas from each country against each other in the Chinese city.

Kosovo would celebrate success in the 48kg event in style, as Distria Krasniqi achieved an ippon within 15 seconds of her gold medal match with Japan's Ami Kondo at the Guangzhou Arena.

Slovenia's Marusa Stangar and Russia's Irina Dolgova won bronze medal bouts to round off the podium.

Japan would draw level with Kosovo in their head-to-head battle as world champion Tsukasa Yoshida maintained her unbeaten record against Nora Gjakova to claim gold.

Yoshida's team-mate Momo Tamaoki claimed the first under-57kg bronze on offer, with Canada's Jessica Klimkait taking the second.

It would prove to be a strong day for the Japanese team, with Natsumi Tsunoda triumphing in the women's under-52kg competition.

Tsunoda, the Japanese number three, saw off the challenge of World Championship bronze medallist Amandine Buchard of France in the final.

They were joined on the podium by bronze medallists Natalia Kuziutina of Russia and Belgium's Charline Van Snick.

A third Japanese gold medal of the day was earned by Joshiro Maruyama, who topped the standings in the men's under-66kg event.

The Osaka Grand Slam winner achieved an ippon against Israel's Baruch Shmailov to claim victory.

Tsukasa Yoshida was one of three Japanese gold medallists on the opening day of action ©IJF
Tsukasa Yoshida was one of three Japanese gold medallists on the opening day of action ©IJF

Bronze medals were claimed by Georgia's Vazha Margvelashvili and Mongolia's Altansukh Dovdon.

World silver medallist Robert Mshvidobadze earned his first Judo Masters title as the Russian struck in a golden score period against Amiran Papinashvili of Georgia in the gold medal bout.

Kazakhstan's Yeldos Smetov and Mongolia's Amartuvshin Dashdavaa won bronze.

Azerbaijan's Olympic silver medallist Rustam Orujov won the final men's gold medal on the opening day of action.

Orujov achieved a waza-ari score in the under-73kg division final against Canada's Arthur Margelidon to emerge as the winner.

World champion Clarisse Agbegnenou was also among the winners today, with the French judoka pinning Japan's Nami Nabekura to achieve an ippon in the women's under-63kg event.

Bronze medals were won by Slovenia's Olympic champion Tina Trstenjak and Japan's Miku Tashiro.

The season ending event will conclude tomorrow in China.

It is highly prestigious as only the top-16 ranked judoka in each weight category are invited.

Watch the action on Judo TV