Preceded by Ingrid Bergmans. Also Gila Vandicavie. But other judo legends, such as Robert Vandewal and Ola Warbrook, braced their teeth for the World Cup gold medal. With the silver medal at the 2019 World Cup, it seemed that Matthias Kaas could also be the story of “not only”, but the 24-year-old from Antwerp has confidence to sell. Yesterday I demonstrated. A strong head on a strong body. self conscious. Cass: “I’m glad I got a second chance and now I’ve got gold. In this way I hope to inspire myself to the new generations. I am very proud to have been able to make history ”.
At the April European Championships, Cass was not good enough to take European gold: he became a silver. “Physically I’m still not 100 percent,” Cass said at the time. Turk Albayrak, third in the world rankings, was still very powerful. He wasn’t at the World Cup. Judo wasn’t the only one who decided to go to the World Cup and put everything on the line. Also missing was Sagi Muki (IJF 2). Takanori Naga (IJF 12). Cass didn’t care: “Today I could have beaten them all.”
In the final, Cass met an extraordinary talent. Grigalashvili tattoo. He is only 21 years old and is European champion in 2020, en route to the gold medal deal with Cass. In Budapest, Kass has settled the bill.
The Georgian attacks immediately but fails to score. This made Grigalashvili visibly nervous, while Cass remained cold as a frozen rabbit. She waited patiently for her chance and showed up for overtime. Grigalashvili flew onto his back. ebony. “The fact that I actually went to the World Cup final in 2019 helped me. Two years ago I was very excited and nervous, now I’m calmer and my plan is well executed ”.
gold for the box. Four years later, he was awarded the title of world champion – in the junior category. “Then it felt huge, now that I’ve done it with seniors, the value suddenly becomes a lot less,” smiled Cass. “But now I can say for the second time that I’m the best in the world, and that makes me feel so good.”
Meanwhile, Antwerper has been number 1 in its weight class for over a year, in the category of heavy loads up to 81 kg. A stature that fully lives up to his first world title. Cass understands better than anyone that the pressure to perform in games is growing. But he is used to it, he says: “I have already been counted among the favorites in this World Cup and it will be no different in Tokyo. But I will go to matches like the others with the same mentality. I go for the gold – as always. If I don’t If that’s your goal, don’t start. I will not have an Olympic diploma (top 8, editor). I know that many Belgians are cautious in expressing their ambitions, but I have made it clear why I am one of the candidates ”.
What also strengthens him in these thoughts is that he is still a little out of his best shape. He has three more phases planned up to the games – this should be enough to further fine-tune the device to be in top condition by the end of July. The planning is clearly correct. I had a hard time in January, but I always believed in myself. I know what I can do and I never doubted that I would be ready for the games. ” He spoke like a true world champion.