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Matthias Casse and Tato Grigalashvili battle it out
Matthias Casse and Tato Grigalashvili battle it out
9 Jun 2021 15:25
IJF Media and JudoInside
György Horváth / Hungarian Judo Association

There were not a lot of surprises looking at the men U81kg in the last eight. Even in this unpredictable category these were about the names you’d expect, still a great level of uncertainty which makes it hard to make predictions. The more the competition unfolded, the more the big names of the category remained, but no-one knew in which order they would settle.

In the morning session Matthias Casse had successive wins against Hievorh Manukian (UKR), Benedek Toth (HUN) and Eduardo Yudy Santos (BRA), without great difficulties, while in the quarter-final he had to produce a real effort to overcome a Japanese obstacle in the name of Sotaro Fujiwara. In the semi-final he faced Sharofiddin Boltaboev (UZB), winner in Tel Aviv and second in Tashkent, who had just ruined Saeid Mollaei's dream of becoming world champion again, but this did not disturb Casse at all and he gave no chance to the Uzbek to enter his second world championship final in a row. As the Belgian said a couple of days ago, he has a plan for everyone and this has worked pretty well, but the question is: will it work also against Tato Grigalashvili (GEO) in the final.

The Georgian can definitely be called an artist in the way that he produces spectacular, aerial judo. In the semi-final, Frank De Wit (NED), particularly well known for his resistance, couldn't do anything, when Grigalashvili, maybe one of the most unpredictable judoka of his generation, produced a right handed tai-otoshi, which he never has before, to score an incredible ippon. Before that, Grigalashvili had sent Lee Moon Jin (KOR), Robin Pacek (SWE), Alexios Ntanatsidis (GRE) and the Belgian Sami Chouchi back home. Sadly Chouchi was injured and couldn't compete in the repechage.