PARIS – Matthias Casse has won the Grand Slam of Paris for the second time. It is his fifth Grand Slam victory and that makes him very satisfied.
“This is the ideal start to my Olympic year,” he said afterwards. “Winning in Paris is very special. Nowhere in the world is there such an audience. That audience really supported me today and that gives me a particularly warm feeling. It certainly contributed to my winning the final today. Moreover, there were also many home supporters present and that also makes Paris special. It is the only time during the season that so many of your own supporters come to cheer you on. Together with the sympathetic French, this gave me the feeling of a kind of home advantage.
Paris is the city where the Olympic Games will take place within 7 months. Winning gold there now gives me the confidence to win the Olympic title there later. Olympic gold is the only thing missing from my list of achievements and so I will do everything I can to make that dream come true. Then I can set foot next to my good friend Robert Van de Walle. I saw him just before the final and the feeling of mutual respect certainly contributed to today’s victory. Robert is really my role model and whom I really look up to.”
Matthias Casse was also slightly injured during the Paris competition. In the mixed zone he showed the growth on the shin bone. “Every time I used that leg in an attack, I felt a lot of pain; also when I made the decisive play in extra time of the final. But I’m not worried about this injury itself. We always live with pain, but as long as there are no serious injuries involved, we can continue to focus on winning.
Today, during the five camps, I always adhered to the plans I had agreed with my coach. The golden scores in four of the five matches have shown that I am also in good condition. Of course you get tired, but that also applies to the opponent and that doesn’t bother me much.”