Italy's Assunta Scutto was among the winners on the first day of the IJF Grand Slam in Baku ©Getty Images

Ramazan Abdulaev won a men's under-60 kilograms final between two Russian athletes compete as individual neutrals at the Heydar Aliyev Baku Grand Slam on the International Judo Federation (IJF) World Tour.

Azerbaijan's home favourite Balabay Aghayev suffered a surprise defeat in the first round to Georgia's Lukhumi Chkhvimiani, who went on to reach the semi-finals at the National Gymnastics Arena where he lost to Russian neutral Gamzat Zairbekov.

The participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes in international sport is controversial, with critics arguing they should not be allowed to compete while the war in Ukraine is ongoing, but the IJF has followed the International Olympic Committee's recommendations allowing those deemed not to have supported the conflict and not affiliated to the military to compete as neutrals.

Abdulaev prevailed against his compatriot Aghayev in the under-60kg final to take gold in Baku.

France's Romain Valadier Picard beat Chkhvimiani for bronze, with Kim Won-jin of South Korea overcoming Turkey's Salih Yildiz for the other place on the podium.

Yashar Najafov delivered a gold for the host nation in the men's under-66kg, beating top seed Denis Vieru of Moldova in the semi-final and Japan's Takeshi Takeoka by ippon in the final.

The first bronze went to Spain's David García Torné against Tajikistan's Nurali Emomali, and Vieru made sure of a place on the podium at the expense of Uzbekistan's Mukhriddin Tilolov.

Italy's Assunta Scutto triumphed as the top seed in the women's under-48kg, denying Azerbaijan's Leyla Aliyeva in the final.

Russian neutral Sabina Giliazova earned bronze against Serbia's Milica Nikolić, a feat matched by world silver medallist Shirine Boukli of France against Spain's Laura Martínez Abelenda.

In the women's under-52kg final, Japan's Kisumi Omori downed under-48kg Olympic champion Distria Krasniqi of Kosovo after her opponent received a third shido during golden score.

Hungary's Réka Pupp won the first bronze against Uzbekistan's Sita Kadamboeva, and Odette Giuffrida of Italy overcame Britain's Chelsie Giles.

There was a gold for Kosovo on the first day of the Grand Slam, Olympic champion Nora Gjakova winning the women's under-57kg final against Georgia's Eteri Liparteliani.

Priscilla Gneto of France won the first bronze medal match by ippon against Russian neutral Daria Kurbonmamadova, and Israel's Timna Nelson-Levy defeated Hasret Bozkurt of Turkey.

The Grand Slam named after late former Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev, father of current leader Ilham Aliyev, is set to continue tomorrow with the women's under-63kg and under-70kg and men's under-73kg and under-81kg.