Grigalashvili gets his revenge at the Europeans
Every great champion has a great rival. For Tato Grigalashvili, that person is World Champion and Olympic bronze medalist Matthias Casse of Belgium, who won his world title and Olympic bronze beating Grigalashvili.
Their head-to-heads is 2:2, though, with Grigalashvili performing best against Casse at the European Championships.
The first time was in the semifinal of the 2020 Europeans in Prague. In that exchange, Grigalashvili first attacked with hiza-guruma which knocked Casse to the ground, but with his elbows still off the ground thus keeping the tachi-waza action in play. Without missing a beat, Grigalashvili then picked Casse up with a Georgian-style ura-nage which scored waza-ari, though it could easily have been ippon. It didn’t matter. It was enough to win him the match.
The second time was at the recent Europeans in Sofia. This one was very much a grudge match for Casse had beating Grigalashvili in their last two outings, at the Worlds and the Olympics. It was fitting that their meet-up was in the final.
Grigalashvili was aggressive from the start and pretty soon, Casse found himself with two shidos. Then, Grigalashvili struck with a dynamic drop sode. Casse spun so fast, it almost looked like an overthrow. But not was waza-ari given, so was another shido, which meant Casse was disqualified with hansoku-make.
Watch Grigalashvili defeat Casse at the 2020 & 2022 Europeans.
And with that, these two are now 2:2. Judo fans can look forward to great fights between the two of them in future IJF events.