Bulgaria’s Isabel Hristova is targeting a gold medal at the World Combat Games in Riyadh after switching from judo to sambo ©FIAS

Bulgaria’s Isabel Hristova has set her sights on winning a gold medal at this year’s World Combat Games after securing her place in the event by taking a silver medal at the European Sambo Championships in Haifa last month.

The Championships doubled as a qualifying event for the Games in Riyadh, due to take place between October 21 and 30.

Hristova was happy to secure her place at the Games, even if she was disappointed with her defeat to Russia’s Iana Poliakov, competing under a neutral flag, in the 65 kilograms weight category in combat sambo.

"I made a lot of mistakes in the final, so I can’t be satisfied with my performance and the result, but I still feel positive emotions, because today I made a big step forward," she said.

"The second place for me is not the result I expected, but it was a difficult tournament.

"On the mat I really enjoyed the fight, I'm sure next time my performance will be more successful."

The event in Haifa was Hristova’s first major combat sambo event having originally started in judo and wrestling.

"Sambo is very close to judo," she said.

"At the same time, I understand that in sambo I can perform some techniques better than in judo or in any other sport.

"When I learned about combat sambo, I was really happy, it's almost perfect for me.

"Now I’m talking about the [World Combat] Games, as they will take place this year.

"In Riyadh, I will try to do everything in my power to win."