The FIM is very proud to have been invited to bring speedway to the World Games after 32 years and it has been a great opportunity to showcase this discipline, which is so popular in Poland. The FIM President, Vito Ippolito opened the FIM Speedway World Games in the presence of Jaroslaw Stawiarski, Deputy Minister of Sport; Andrzej Witkowski, FIM Vice President & PZM President and Rafal Dutkiewicz, Mayor of the City of Wroclaw in front of some 13,000 enthusiastic spectators.
Poland were winners of the gold medal ahead of Australia and Sweden but their victory was not as easy as some had predicted as they fought back from possible elimination to qualify for the Final.
The Australians had made the running during the elimination heats with Jason Doyle top scoring with 15 points. An off form Chris Holder was replaced by World Under 21 champion Max Fricke whose fighting seven points from three rides secured their automatic seeding to the Final. Poland, who had led from the early stages, faltered as both Zmarzlik and Janowski picked up last places and the Polish captain suffered a disqualification for crossing the inner edge in a vital Heat 21. They needed a tense Race Off with Sweden for the other place where, despite a heroic ride from Antonio Lindback who came from behind to overtake both Poles, the Swedes had to settle for third place.
The Polish pair made no mistake in the Final, jetting away from the start and clamping down the Australians on the first bend to seal a memorable victory cheered on by the Olympic Stadium crowd.
Fourth place was claimed by a jubilant German pair with Kai Huckenbeck and Erik Riss scoring 17 points ahead of Russian’s 16. Denmark’s dismal season continues and a disappointing 15 from the Danish team relegated them to sixth place. The Great Britain team were seventh.
After the event, Vito Ippolito FIM President declared: “The FIM is very proud to have had the opportunity to participate in these Games with one of its most spectacular competitions. Speedway’s inclusion in the World Games was an undoubted success for the organisers, bringing Wroclaw’s sporting festival to a fitting conclusion with a victory for the home team in front of a record number of spectators.”
Final Scores:1. Poland 31 (Zmarzlik 20, Janowski 10, Dudek 1)2. Australia 25 (Doyle 15, Fricke 8, Holder 2)3. Sweden 23 (Lindback 12, Lindgren 11)4. Germany 17 (Huckenbeck 12, Riss 5)5. Russia 16 (Sayfutdinov 8, Kudriashov 5, Kulakov 3)6. Denmark 15 (Bjerre 6, Jensen 6, Iversen 3)7. Great Britain 11 ( Worrall 9, King 2, Lambert 0)Speedway’s inclusion in the World Games was an undoubted success for the organisers bringing Wroclaw’s sporting festival to a fitting conclusion with a victory for the home team.