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Fast footwork and fantastic judo on final day of Marrakech Grand Prix

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Fast footwork and fantastic judo on final day of Marrakech Grand Prix
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The third and final day of the 2019 Marrakech Grand Prix saw fans treated to some fantastic judo in Morocco.

Benjamin Fletcher of Ireland was our Man of the Day, storming his way to the -100kg final, throwing in every direction in a fantastic display of judo.

In the final, Fletcher brilliantly countered Toma Nikiforov of Belgium in golden score to secure the top spot on the podium.

Storming his way to the top: Ireland's Benjamin Fletcher took the gold medal after defeating Toma Nikiforov of Belgium in the -100kg final

A second world tour medal of the year for the Irishman, continuing his assault on the world ranking list at -100kg. It was an especially happy tournament for the Fletcher family as Ben’s older sister Megan won a career-best silver medal on Saturday, earning the Fletcher household two medals in Morocco.

"It’s something I pride myself on, having good conditioning. Like last year I went up to Colorado Springs to train at altitude, and some people thought do you really need to do that? It’s moments like that today where it’s really that delayed gratification thing. Where 8 months later I’m stood here thinking you know, that was the right thing to do," Benjamin Fletcher said in an interview.

Elsewhere, an incredible uchi mata saw Germany’s Anna Maria Wagner into the -78kg final.

Maiden World Tour title: Germany’s Anna Maria Wagner won gold after defeating Kosovo’s Loriana Kuka in the -78kg final

There, she became our Woman of the Day by defeating Kosovo’s Loriana Kuka with another uchi mata. A maiden world tour title for the young German.

"I feel amazing. It’s so good after Dusseldorf, where I got silver, to stand here on the top and win gold," Anna Maria Wagner said in an interview.

In the -90kg category, former World Champion Nemanja Majdov took the top spot. Recently back on the tour, the Serbian came to Morocco to show he intends to reclaim his title later this year.

Top spot: Serbia's Nemanja Majdov overcame Germany’s Eduard Trippel in the -90kg final to win the gold medal

Majdov overcame Germany’s Eduard Trippel with a driving uchi mata to earn the Marrakech Grand Prix title.

In the women's heavyweights, Kayra Sayit of Turkey claimed the gold in the +78kg division. She came through a tough final against Tessie Savelkouls of The Netherlands to take Turkey’s only gold of the event.

Turkish delight: Kayra Sayit won the women's heavyweight gold for Turkey after defeating Tessie Savelkouls of The Netherlands in a tough +78kg final

Second gold of the day helps Germany top medals standings

In the heaviest men’s category, Sven Heinle of Germany reigned supreme as he executed fast footwork followed by brilliant persistence on the ground to take gold at +100kg after he defeated Yerassyl Kazhybayev of Kazakhstan in the final.

Supreme heavyweight: Sven Heinle of Germany reigned supreme after defeating Yerassyl Kazhybayev of Kazakhstan in the +100kg final

Heinle's win marked a second gold of the day for the impressive German team and helped put Germany on top of the overall medals **standings** at the end of the three-day tournament, edging ahead of Uzbekistan and France in second and third place respectively.

Moves of the Day

Both our Moves of the Day came at under 90 kilograms and each of the protagonists earned a bronze medal. The first was from Quedjau Nhabali of the Ukraine.

Flying finish: Quedjau Nhabali of the Ukraine throws Poland's Tomasz Szczepaniak en route to a bronze medal in their -90kg contest

And it came as Agadir Grand Prix bronze medallist Nhabali eased past Poland's Tomasz Szczepaniak in their bronze medal contest.

First ever World Tour medal: Robert Florentino spectacularly countered France’s Aurelien Diesse to take the -90kg bronze and earn The Dominican Republic their first ever World Judo tour medal

The second was historic. In a frenetic and exciting contest, Robert Florentino spectacularly countered France’s Aurelien Diesse for ippon and was overjoyed as he had just earned The Dominican Republic their first ever World Judo tour medal.

Judo once again showing its universality as another nation joins the ever growing list of medal winners in the sport. What a great way to end a fantastic Marrakech Grand Prix.