Astana Expo FIM Ice Speedway Gladiators World Championship Final 3. 18/19 February 2017– Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Weather was the winner on the first day in Almaty when the FIM Jury abandoned the meeting at the semi final stage. Thick fog, which had already caused a delay of some 90 minutes after Heat 1, returned to make further racing impossible and the scores at Heat 20 will determine the result.
Igor Kononov took first place with an unbeaten 15 points followed closely by fellow Russians Dmitry Koltakov, Dmitry Khomitsevich and Dinar Valeev. Franz Zorn showed his liking for the Medeo track with 11 points and Günther Bauer 10 in his best meeting of the season to date. Ove Ledström and Harald Simon were the two other semi final qualifiers.
Daniil Ivanov was the victim of a frightening Heat 1 fall when his front tyre collapsed whilst he was leading the race. He was taken to hospital with a shoulder injury, which will prevent him from racing on the second day and remove any chances he may have had to regain his world title.
Niclas Svensson was also in the wars having been injured when hitting the machine of fallen Ivanov in Heat 1. He bravely started his second race but fell again and withdrew from his last three rides due to an injured knee. He is however expected to be fit to resume racing on Sunday.
Leading scores after Day 1:
1. Dmitri Kolkatov (Russia) 86
2, Igor Kononov (Russia)) 82
3, Dmitri Khomitsevich (Russia) 79
4. Dinar Valeev (Russia 64
5. Daniil Ivanov (Russia) 56
6. Franz Zorn (Austria) 49
7. Stefan Svensson (Sweden) 33
8. Günther Bauer (Germany) 32
9. Nicolai Krasnikov (Russia) 26 (Wild Card)
10.Niclas Svensson (Sweden) 23
Some 5000 spectators were present although many had left before racing resumed under the impression that the meeting had been abandoned. Organisers have confirmed that tickets bought for Saturday will be valid for Sunday’s race, which starts at 12.30 local time (07.30 CET).