Head coach Mark van der Ham: Thank you Matthias Casse, what a ride!

After a successful five-year collaboration, Flemish head coach Mark van der Ham is leaving the federations to take on a new challenge at another top judo country.

Dutchman Mark van der Ham started his career as a judo coach at Judo Vlaanderen in February 2017. First as a coach for the juniors and then progressed to become a coach for the senior men, eventually guiding the Flemish judo champions as head coach.

“Thank you Judo Flanders. In a few weeks the time has come for me to take a new step in my career. I look back on a fantastic “Belgian” period of just over 5 years”, Van der Ham said.

“With bronze at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, two World Championship titles and two European Championship titles, among many other medals we have won together, I can only be proud of everything we have achieved. In particular, I would like to thank Matthias Casse what a great ride we have had together and what a fantastic top athlete you are! The coming weeks will be all about optimal transfer for me, after which I will meet the next challenge.”

“We naturally regret the departure of Mark after five years of excellent cooperation,” said Technical Director Topsport Koen Sleeckx. “We will therefore continue on the mapped out course and build on the foundations that Mark has laid in recent years. The results of our judoka speak for themselves that Mark’s professional approach has paid off. We are now going to look further with the entire staff at how we will accommodate this change so that our judoka can continue to focus on their performance on the tatami.”

Van der Ham and Casse celebrates big successes such as last year’s world title and Olympic bronze medal and victories at the IJF Masters, Paris Grand Slam, European Games, Junior World Championships and recently Van der Ham coached Casse to gold at the Grand Slam in Abu Dhabi and Grand Prix Portugal.

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