Olympic champion Kellie Harrington made a convincing start at the European Women's Boxing Championships ©Getty Images

Ukrainian Anastasiia Kovalchuk stunned world champion Hatice Akbaş at the European Women's Boxing Championships in Budva.

Turkey's Akbaş won a world title earlier this year, but all five judges at the Mediterranean Sport Center scored the first-round bantamweight contest 29-28 in Kovalchuk's favour.

While the International Boxing Association (IBA) has suspended the Ukrainian Boxing Federation - blaming "Government interference" - Ukrainian athletes may compete at IBA and European Boxing Confederation (EUBC) competitions under their national flag.

The same goes for athletes from Russia and Belarus - despite the countries waging a war in Ukraine which has led to them being excluded from most international sport - but the IBA decision allowing them to return came after the EUBC had closed the entry lists for the European Women's Boxing Championships.

Ireland's Niamh Fay also advanced via a unanimous decision in the bantamweight division, over Italian Sirine Charaabi.

Former European youth champion Antonia Giannakopoulou of Greece edged past England's Charley-Sian Davison on a 3-2 spilt decision, while Pole Wiktoria Rogalinska beat Romania's Lacramioara Perijoc 4-1.

Fay's compatriot Kellie Harrington - the Olympic champion at under-60 kilograms - was also victorious on an excellent opening day for the Irish.

Harrington outclassed French rival Maïva Hamadouche and was a convincing winner on all five scorecards.

However, Italian former under-57kg world champion Alessia Mesiano was eliminated in a surprise result.

Mesiano lost a unanimous decision versus England's Shona Whitwell, who will face Swede Agnes Alexiusson next.

Alexiusson defeated Serbia's Natalia Sadrina to reach the second round.

Action is scheduled at under-52kg, under-57kg and under-60kg tomorrow in Budva.