Belgian judoka Matthias Casse won gold for the second time in his career on Saturday at the Grand Slam of Paris, one of the most important tournaments of the year.
In the final of the 81 kilogram class he defeated the Azerbaijani Zelim Tckaev with a golden score. After one minute and twenty seconds, the world number one defeated his opponent, ranked eleven places lower, with an Ippon. The Grand Slam in Paris was his first of four tournaments for the Olympic Games in Paris, where he also hopes to win gold.
The world number one in the 81 kilogram class started his Olympic year with a victory against Jamaican Max Stewart (IJF 270) in round two. A round later he passed the Russian Adam Tsechoev (IJF 114) in the Golden Score. The Golden Score was also involved in the victory against the Kazakh Abylaikhan Zhubanazar (IJF 15). Finally, in the match against the Tajik Somon Makhmadbekov (IJF 7), he secured his place in the final, where he would beat Zelim Tckaev with a golden score.
In 2020, 26-year-old Casse won the Grand Slam in the French capital for the first time. A total of five Grand Slams are on his list of honors, including twice Paris, Abu Dhabi (2021), Tel Aviv (2022) and Antalya (2023).