Majlinda Kelmendi of Kosovo won under-52kg gold against Italian Odette Giuffrida ©IJF Media

Rio 2016 Olympic champion Majlinda Kelmendi claimed gold on day one of the International Judo Federation Grand Slam event in Abu Dhabi.

At Mubadala Arena, the Kosovan needed all of her talents to see off long-time rival Odette Giuffrida from Italy to top the under-52 kilograms podium.

Kelmendi led the head-to-head record 6-2 prior to the United Arab Emirates meet.

She needed four minutes of golden score to overcome Giuffrida as she extended her record to 7-2.

Briton Chelsie Giles and Park Da Sol from South Korea earned bronze medals.

Ukrainian Daria Bilodid secured a third Grand Slam victory by defeating Marusa Stangar of Slovenia for under-48kg gold.

The teenager backed up her August World Championship triumph with a fine win as she made her Abu Dhabi debut.

Katharina Menz of Germany and Catarina Costa from Portugal collected bronze medals.

South Korean Kim Jin A delivered under-57kg gold in Abu Dhabi ©IJF Media
South Korean Kim Jin A delivered under-57kg gold in Abu Dhabi ©IJF Media

Kim Jin A led South Korean hopes in Abu Dhabi and she delivered on the opening day.

Having already secured her place at Tokyo 2020, the shackles were off as she claimed under-57kg gold against Sarah Leonie Cysique of France.

Compatriot Kim Jandi joined Kim on the podium, collecting bronze alongside Diana Dzhigaros from Russia.

Gusman Kyrgyzbayev from Kazakhstan won a dynamic men's under-60kg final, seeing off Walide Khyar of France to clinch gold.

Bronze medals were awarded to Yago Abuladze of Russia and Uzbekistan's Diyorbek Urozboev.

The Italian national anthem rung out at Mubadala Arena for Manuel Lombardo.

He claimed under-66kg gold against Orkhan Safarov from Azerbaijan.

Orland Polanco of Cuba and South Korean An Baul completed the podium.

Action continues at the IJF Grand Slam tomorrow before the event finishes on Saturday (October 26).