Olympic champion Taha Akgül knocked out the reigning European champion en route to the final ©Getty Images

Three of the opening five gold medals of the European Wrestling Championships went to Russian athletes, with Alikhan Zhabrailov leading the way in Warsaw.

Zhabrailov beat defending champion Suleyman Karadeniz of Turkey 6-4 in the men's under-97-kilogram freestyle final.

Victory for Zhabrailov offered Russia a modicum of revenge after Suleyman Atli defeated Nachyn Mongush in the under-57kg final.

The 6-5 victory gave Turkey's Atli a second European title in three years.

Russian Israil Kasumov beat Turan Bayramov of Azerbaijan 3-1 to win under-70kg gold, while compatriot Zagir Shakhiev was victorious 5kg down.

Shakhiev overcame Krzysztof Bienkowski of Poland 13-2.

In the day's only final with no Russian involvement, the Slovakian Akhsarbek Gulaev defeated Saifedine Alekma of France 2-1 in a tight, nervy encounter.

Russia's success extended beyond the finals today, with defending champion Artur Naifonov making it back to the under-86kg gold-medal match.

Three more - Abasgadzhi Magomedov at under-61kg, Magomed Kurbanov at under-92kg and under-125kg wrestler Sergei Kozyrev - also qualified for freestyle finals.

Georgia's defending champion in the latter division, Geno Petriashvili, lost to Turkey's Taha Akgül in the opening round in a rematch of the 2019 World Championship final.

Olympic champion Akgül will face Kozyrev tomorrow.

Another defending champion, Italian Frank Chamizo, lost in the under-74kg quarter-finals against Slovakian Tajmuraz Salkazanov, a bronze medallist at the World Championships in 2019 at a higher weight.