The European Sambo Championships began with youth events in Limassol ©FIAS

Russia enjoyed a successful opening day of the European Sambo Championships with several of the country’s athletes earning titles in youth events in Limassol.

Sergei Nikulin was among the Russian gold medallists on first day of action in the Cypriot city.

He saw off the challenge of Israel’s Nikiel Shabayev in the men’s under-64 kilograms youth event to take gold.

Aleko Kasradze of Georgia and Armenia’s Mesrop Nikoyan were the bronze medallists, after both sambists tasted defeat in the semi-finals.

Russia’s Aiat Kusainov topped the podium in the men’s under-58kg youth event, courtesy of a victory over Ukraine’s Nazar Viskov.

The podium was completed by Belarus’ Ihar Mirayeuski and Georgia’s Ipolite Akubadria, who received bronze medals.

Further Russian success came in the men’s under-79kg weight division, with Aznaur Papshuov clinching victory.

Papshuov triumphed against Georgia’s Beka Dzganishvili in the final, with Ukraine’s Denys Betishchev and Moldova’s Danil Zaharia taking bronze.

Akim Mishunin continued Russia’s success in the men’s events by beating Ukraine’s Oleksii Bolyriev in the under-88kg final, while Latvia’s Maksims Duinovs and Georgia’s Nikolos Alshibala earned bronze medals.

Russia’s Diana Piskovets secured gold in the women’s under-54kg event.

She overcame Belarus’ Palina Burachkova in the final, with Lithuania’s Elinga Jakultye and Ukraine’s Kateryna Martynenko earning bronze.

The under-72kg competition also ended with Russian success, as Sofia Andriets beat Israel’s Eliizabeth Kovalov in the gold-medal bout.

Ukraine’s Yana Shymko and Belarus’ Yeva Karpach were bronze-medal winners.

Ukraine and Latvia succeeded in challenging Russia’s dominant opening day.

Ukraine’s Yana Voloshniuk triumphed in the women’s under-50kg youth event after overcoming the challenge of Russia’s Sofia Tsibrova in the final.

Bronze medals were awarded to beaten semi-finalists Darya Taporykava of Belarus and Armenia’s Syuzanna Kirakosyan.

The women’s under-65kg competition saw Latvia’s Marija Seleznova triumph against Ukraine’s Anhelina Kalenycehnko in the final.

Bulgaria’s Tsvetelina Marinova and Russia’s Kseniia Medvedeva claimed the two bronze medals on offer.

The event continues tomorrow, with senior competition due to start on Friday (May 28).