An amazing fourth day for Matthias Casse who bagged a gold medal at senior level at the World Championships in Budapest. The 2017 Junior World Champion grew to World number one and number one seeded player in Tokyo in just a few years. Belgiums strong man overcame Tato Grigalashvili who won the IJF Masters in the beginning of this year. Casse skipped the Europeans in April and totally prepared the road to the Olympics and picked up a unique World title for Belgium.
Tato Grigalashvili (21) gave a super strong impression, but Casse countered all attacks of Tato Grigalashvili who seemed a bit nervous in this big match. Casse was waiting for his chance and tried a few attacks with his special seoi nage abilities. Grigalashvili had one shido but the match went into golden score with lots of tension. Fourty seconds in the golden score Casse went for the score when he changed direction and started the movement of a throw and the Georgian tried to change it but Casse had a great kuzushi and became the first ever Belgian man to take the World title, a tremendous success for Casse and his team that helped him to this level. Coach Mark van der Ham developed the strong plan to fight 2020 European Champion Grigalashvili.
Grigalashvili defeated Casse in the semi-final of those European Championships last year in Prague, this time Casse had a strong tactical plan for the Georgian, knowing he wasn’t at his best in November last year. He trained hard and grew into Olympic form and this world title will make him even stronger and help him at the draw at the World Championships as highest seeded athlete.
Egutidze surprised Boltaboev
Anri Egutidze amazed everyone with his superb bronze medal at World level. Only the fourth Portuguese man to do so and the first in this middleweight category. In the bronze medal fight he defeated Sharofuddin Boltaboev of Uzbekistan who looked the strongest but Egutidze never gave up and countered the dangerous Boltaboev with own weapons. Egutidze made a mamkikomi, a bit untidy but his kuzushi and kept strong and committed and threw Boltaboev with a sloppy but sufficient score and finished the match before he heard the precious words of coach Pedro Soares about this opportunities. Egutidze had some tough opponents today and won six out of the seven contests and only lost to Frank de Wit in the quarter final, although he didn’t have to fight Chouchi who came out injured from his match against Grigalashvili.
Bronze for Frank de Wit
Frank de Wit claimed his first World Championships medal by defeating Sotaro Fujiwara of Japan. He looked stronger in the match and Fujiwara took a one penalty too much. De Wit almost caught the former World Championships runner-up by a strangle after 30 seconds. She match went into golden score and Fujiwara had two penalties on the board. The referee gave Fujiwara the third penalty for a false attack and De Wit took the second bronze medal of the day for the Netherlands.
De Wit knew Fujiwara from a previous championship, the Junior World Championships final in 2018 in Abu Dhabi where De Wit took the junior world title. De Wit kept the pressure the whole match with his tall body and took the victory and hugged his coach Benito May. De Wit won five matches but only couldn’t resist Grigalashvili.