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Russia takes Speedway of Nations glory

Jul 232019

Not long ago, Russia didn’t even have the resources to field a team in world championship team speedway. They were in the wilderness, the forgotten nation of a sport that they had the potential to dominate.

No longer. Now, they are consecutive Speedway of Nations champions and this time they did it in front of their home fans in what was the first team world championship to ever be held in the soviet country. It’s safe to say that Russia has arrived.

The FIM Black Monster Speedway of Nations is a two-day, 44-race event where seven teams fight for every single point on offer in the hope of landing in the top three at the end of the tournament, where the top team goes straight through to the grand final and the next two teams go head to head to earn the right to join them.

After their awesome success in Wroclaw, Poland last year it was Russia’s turn to host and it was the western city of Togliatti that took the reins, and thousands of fans turned up expecting to see their heroes do the business again this time around.

They didn’t let them down. The power-packed team of Artem Laguta and Emil Sayfutdinov has the weight of expectation on their shoulders but you couldn’t tell, as they put their stamp on the competition right from the get-go.

They didn’t have it easy, though. Australia were tipped as the dark horses by our man Greg Hancock and he got it bang on because they showed up in a big way. After day one, it was the Aussies who topped the overall leaderboard with Russia in second and Poland third – all separated by just two points.

Day two saw Poland bring in Patryk Dudek for the injured Maciej Janowski and he made an impact straight away and that put Poland into the overall lead after 42 races.

Russia and Australia went bar-to-bar in the semi-final and when the home team packed into second and third it put them through to the all or nothing final race.

Thousands of fans on the edge of their seats, a buzz of expectation, surely their men could pull it out of the bag one last time?

 

You bet they could. The Russian team made an awesome start and they never looked back, charging home for victory and sending their supporters into raptures to claim the SoN crown for the second time in a row.

 

Captain Emil Sayfutdinov spoke to SpeedwayGP.com after the race and couldn’t believe the feeling, “It’s great. It’s an amazing feeling because it was such a tough meeting. But we did it.

 

“We made the final and we just focused and concentrated on the final. We won the start and just went forward. I am so happy.

 

“We worked hard. Saturday was a hard meeting and Sunday was harder. The track at the beginning was different to Saturday.

 

"We needed to find some good speed, but we did a great job and I want to say thank you very much to my team and everyone who helped me. I feel so great.

 

“There were a lot of people there. It was our people in Russia and everyone was standing up for us. That’s an amazing feeling.”

 

Poland picked up the silver medal with Australia in third, but the glory belongs to Russia and now they can truly say they are a force in world speedway again. Guys, we tip our hats to you.

 

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