The Judo Grand Prix in Croatia got underway on Saturday in Rijeka and Germany and Russia signalled their intent with two golds apiece.
After Mareen Kraeh of Germany celebrated the women’s -52kg gold her compatriot Miryam Roper completed a successful opening day for her nation by winning the under 57 kilo class.
The 31-year-old European bronze medallist forced four-time European champion Telma Monteiro of Portugal into submission to strike gold.
Judo powerhouse Russia enjoyed some much needed success after a disappointing World Championships in Rio last month.
World number eight Beslan Mudranov beat France’s 2010 European champion Sofiane Milous to win gold in the under 60 kilo division while his compatriot and former European u23 champion Denis Lavrentiev overpowered Ukraine’s Sergiy Pliyev in the -66kg class.
South Korean Bang Gui-Man swept past European champion Rok Draksic of Slovenia to win the -73 kilo gold.
In a tight and evenly balanced contest both men scored a yuko to keep themselves on level terms before Bang sealed the deal with just 32 seconds remaining with an ippon.