15 January 2023


Mittersill EJU OTC 2023


Matthias CASSE (BEL) could be a happy man. The current number two in the world ranking (-81 kg) had two very succesful seasons. He won the World Championships and Olympic bronze medal in 2021, last year he both finished second at the European Championships in Sofia (BUL) and at the World Championships in Tashkent (UZB).

I always want to show my best Judo at the big events, at the European and World Championships as well as the Olympic Games. I will have a real long preparation period for the Worlds in Doha this May, including one month of training in Japan. My main goal for this year: I want to regain my World Championships title.

Tokyo Olympic Games. © Gabi Juan

There is still room for improvement. I want to get better every year. Talking about 2021 – sure it was a great year. Out of 10 points, I would give eight as I only got 3rd at the Olympics. Last year I would say I see myself between 6 and 7 points (out of ten). Tato (GRIGALASHVILI) ended up winning both finals against me this year and took the two gold medals. I would say he had the best year he could possibly have. Congratulations to him.

The Belgian added to his list a bronze medal at the Masters in Jerusalem (ISR) in December.

The preparation for the Masters tournament was quite difficult. We had to cancel a few training camps and I got a toe injury, could not run for a week. It’s minor things, but they easily get in your head and you don’t feel like 100 percent anymore. This is why I was pretty happy with my 3rd place.

Jerusalem Masters. © Gabi Juan

When talking about the upcoming season, Matthias Casse seems fairly confident:

It’s been a hard time for all of us. I hope in 2023 we will have more and larger training camps again like this one in Mittersill right now. I really enjoy being here.

The ultimate showdown is supposed to happen in May at the World Championships in Doha.

A third World Championships final in a row, would be quite an effort. But I am going for gold. I want to regain my title. I did not like the two silver medals of 2022 too much.

World Championships Tashkent. © Gabi Juan

The training sessions in Mittersill and Japan shall help him to get back on the top spot of the podium in Doha. Then he would be a really happy man.


Author: EJU Media