Athletes from five countries earned golds at the World Sambo Cup in Novi Sad ©FIAS

Athletes from five countries won gold medals on the first day of the World Sambo Cup in the Serbian city of Novi Sad, six of which went to Russian competitors participating as neutrals.

Russia has traditionally been the dominant force in sambo, but its and Belarus' athletes are competing under the International Sambo Federation (FIAS) flag due to the war in Ukraine.

In men's sport sambo, Roman Zheltov overcame Moldova's Ruslan Cimpoies 2-0 in the over-98 kilograms final at the Sports and Business Center Vojvodina.

Ollga Polygalova won the women's sport sambo under-50kg final by the same scoreline against compatriot Sofia Emeliukova, and Ekaterina Tsybert triumphed 6-2 in the under-59kg category against Aurore Cabanne from France, also competing under the FIAS flag because of a Governmental dispute.

Russian neutral Olga Mikheeva took gold as the only competitor in the women's over-80kg sport sambo.

In men's combat sambo there were two finals contested by two Russian neutrals, Pavel Malkovskii thrashing Vitalii Boev 10-0 at under-64kg and Ovanes Abgarian winning the under-79kg final 6-0 against Aleksei Ivanov.

Kazakhstan earned two golds on the first day of competition, both in men's sport sambo, Arnur Kuatay edging Russian neutral Malik Gadzhimuradov 3-2 in the under-71kg category and Yelaman Koishybayev thrashing another Russian neutral Denis Sukhanov 9-0 in the under-88kg final.

Bulgaria's Borislav Yanakov triumphed in the men's sport sambo under-58kg, narrowly beating Adilet Yelemessov of Kazakhstan 3-2, and Croatia's Ivana Mandaric saw off Serbian home favourite Katarina Nadj 4-0 in the women's sport sambo under-72kg final.

Marino Dugandzic from Bosnia and Herzegovina was the other winner, prevailing 7-6 against Kazakhstan's Askar Abdulla in the men's combat sambo under-98kg final.

The World Sambo Cup is due to conclude tomorrow.