Vladislav Rudniev has hared the title of Ukraine's best sambo athlete of the year ©FIAS

Combat sambo under-74-kilogram world champion Vladislav Rudniev and women's under-64kg world champion Anastasia Shevchenko have been named Ukraine's top sambists for 2020.

The National Ukrainian Sambo Federation named the two gold medallists from the 2020 World Sambo Championships in Novi Sad in Serbia as its best athletes of the year.

Shevchenko and Rudniev first in the organisation's ratings, tied with a total of 1680 points.

In the women's under-64kg, Shevchenko defeated Belarus' Vera Harelikava in the final; Rudniev won his gold medal after victory over Daiyrbek Karyiaev of Kyrgyzstan.

Three-time world champion Rudniev previously stated that he believed Russia's reign as a dominant force in the sport was diminishing.

Rudniev claims that the Ukrainian team no longer fear Russia, despite their continued dominance.

"Just three years ago, the Russian national team was for us something from the world of fantasy," Rudniev recently said, speaking to the International Sambo Federation website.

"We even joked among ourselves: 'When you go to [face] Russia, you think, and who is next to me for the third place?'

"And this halo of invincibility was in the way, literally zombified you."

He and his team mates now "understand that Russians are the same rivals, the same people with their own advantages and disadvantages," Rudniev continued.

"Therefore, climbing the pedestal, I not only felt pride in my country, but also wanted to show the Ukrainian team and the younger generation that everything is possible, everything is real, just a lot of work needs to be done."

Vadim Rogach was recognised as the best coach by the National Ukrainian Sambo Federation, with Evgeny Bondaruk finishing second and Andrey Nikitin placing third in the standings.