The Judo Grand Prix in Almaty Kazakhstan got underway on Saturday.
Russia’s Kristina Rumyantseva won the under 48 kilo class with victory over junior world championship bronze medallist and home hope Alexandra Podryadova.
The Lisbon European Open silver medallist dominated the contest and sealed the top spot on the podium after two minutes by forcing her opponent to tap out.
Belgium’s Ilse Heylen celebrated her first world tour title with victory over Israeli judoka Gili Cohen.
Heylen produced a polished performance against the Moscow Grand Slam bronze medallist.
The 36-year-old, who won bronze at the Athens Olympics in 2004 left it until the final 33 seconds to win by ippon.
South American Championship winner Alex Pombo also left it late before claiming his first world tour gold in the under 73 kilo division.
The Brazilian upset the home crowd by beating Kazakh Yertugan Torenov in the final.
Pombo capped off a fine display for Judo powerhouse Brazil who enjoyed three gold on the opening day of action.
It wasn’t all near misses for the host nation as Military Championship winner Yeldos Zhumakanov beat Belarussian Dzmitry Shershan to win the under 66 kilo category.
Shershan was on the brink of victory with an advantage of a waza-ari and two yuko scores only to carelessly throw the gold away by being penalized four times for prohibited actions.
The last penalty came in the final eight seconds of the final.