Maxwell Djantou Nana celebrates after stunning two-time champion Denis Goltsov ©FIAS

Belarus and Kazakhstan captured two gold medals apiece as the All-Russian Sambo Federation (RSF) had a frustrating opening day at the World Sambo Championships here in Uzbekistan's capital Tashkent.

The RSF - who usually dominate the event from start to finish - won just one of their four finals with their only success coming after Magomedov Rasul’s Kazakh opponent Raikhan Madi failed to turn up for the combat under-98 kilogram gold medal clash following medical advice.

Russian athletes are competing as the RSF in Tashkent, as part of sanctions imposed by the World Anti-Doping Agency against Russia in December 2018 in connection with the manipulation of data from the Moscow Laboratory.

With the RSF failing to hit the high notes, Cameroon and Tajikistan tasted victories as five different nations topped the podium at the Yunusobod Sport Complex.

After a three-year absence from the World Championships, two-time champion Denis Goltsov of the RSF was looking to reclaim his combat over-98kg title but he came up against a Cameroonian fighter that was firing on all cylinders.

Maxwell Djantou Nana notched two early points before Goltsov rallied to level the scores at 2-2.

He added another point in a fierce contest as the seconds ticked down.

Goltsov, a professional United Fighting Championship fighter, battled hard to draw level again, but Djantou Nana was given the nod by the judges.

Rakhat Zhananiyet overpowers Khushqadam Khusravov on his way to winning Kazakhstan's second gold of the night ©FIAS
Rakhat Zhananiyet overpowers Khushqadam Khusravov on his way to winning Kazakhstan's second gold of the night ©FIAS

Archy Wolfman of Israel and Khakimjon Ismoilov of Uzbekistan took home bronze medals after losing to Goltsov and Djantou Nana respectively in the semi-finals.

Uzbekistan had high hopes of landing gold on the opening day when top seed Sabina Davlatova advanced to the women’s under-50kg final.

The noise level increased in the venue when Davlatova looked to force the issue against Anfisa Kapaeva of Belarus.

But Kapaeva silenced them with a superb move which pinned Davlatova to the ground to secure four points that proved decisive.

Samara Abdumalik Kyzk of Kyrgyzstan and Mariia Molchanova of the RSF secured the other podium places after winning their bronze medal matches.

Belarus’ gold medals came in the first and last finals of the evening session with Tatsiana Matsko finishing proceedings with a dominant win over Svetlana Uvarova of the RSF.

Ibodatkhon Agojonova delivered Uzbekistan a first medal of the tournament when she sealed third spot alongside Boldoo Altangerel of Moldova.

Kazakhstan’s golden double came in quick succession as Rakhat Zhananiyet and Guldana Almukhanbetova triumphed in back-to-back bouts.

Almukhanbetova was the first of those when she proved too strong for Bayarmaa Nekhiitbaatar of Mongolia in the women’s under-54kg final.

Anfisa Kapaeva, right, fends off the attacks of home favourite Sabina Davlatova ©FIAS
Anfisa Kapaeva, right, fends off the attacks of home favourite Sabina Davlatova ©FIAS

The bronze medals went to Marina Zharskaya of Belarus and Aliia Bikkuzhina of the RSF.

Boosted by Almukhanbetova’s success, Zhananiyet came flying out of the blocks in the men’s under-64kg final.

Zhananiyet took a 7-0 lead before slamming Khushqadam Khusravov of Tajikistan in the scoreboard on the side of the mat.

Following a long review, the judges awarded Zhananiyet a convincing victory.

Pavel Hladkikh of Belarus and Aleksandr Kulikovskikh of the RSF collected the bronze medals.

Akmaliddin Karimov of Tajikistan was crowned the men’s under-58kg champion after seeing off Sayan Khertek of the RSF in a hard-fought battle.

Bolatbek Raiymkulov of Kazakhstan and Vakhtangi Chidrashvili of Georgia bagged bronzes.

The other bronze medallists were Jeremy Rodulfo of Trinidad and Tobago and Njimouluh Seidou of Cameroon in the men’s under-98kg as Rasul captured the top prize after Madi’s no show.

Competition is due to continue tomorrow with the finals of the women’s under-65kg and under-72kg, men’s under-71kg, under-79kg and under-88kg and combat under-58kg and under-64kg categories.