Australia's Matt Coffey leads next generation of logger sports talent with 2024 Rookie World Championship

Australia’s Matt Coffey treated logger sports fans to a dominant display as he chopped and sawed his way to the 2024 STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® Rookie World Championship in Milan, Italy. Setting five consecutive personal bests and winning three of the five disciplines he contested, Coffey was too much to handle for the rest of the field, including Belgium’s Kamiel van Raemdonck in second and New Zealand’s Cleveland Cherry in third.

Matt Coffey, Kamiel Van Raemdonck and Cleveland Cherry celebrate their podium finishes at the Rookie World Championship.
Matt Coffey, Kamiel Van Raemdonck and Cleveland Cherry celebrate their podium finishes at the Rookie World Championship.

Coffey came out firing in the first round, posting a personal best score of 14.24 seconds in the Underhand Chop in a statement of intent that he was here to back up his tag as slight favourite.

Despite Canada’s Matthew Budd providing an initial stern challenge, followed by van Raemdonck in the latter rounds, Coffey went on to set a further four personal bests and put in peerless performances in the Single Buck (9.09 seconds) and Springboard (38.12) to sweep home.

van Raemdonck and Cherry delivered strong performances themselves, consistently finishing in the top three positions across each discipline and setting their own series of personal bests to take the remaining podium places.

The Rookie World Championship saw 12 of the finest young athletes showcase the next generation of talent from ‘The Original Extreme Sport’, competing across five renowned TIMBERSPORTS® disciplines – Underhand Chop, Stock Saw, Standing Block Chop, Single Buck and Springboard. 

Coffey stares down early challenge from Budd and Cherry
The opening discipline featured three personal bests from Coffey, Cherry and Budd and after Budd won the Stock Saw and Cherry the Standing Block Chop, it seemed the Australian might have his work cut out getting his hands on the gold medal.

Ultimately, Coffey’s unblemished streak of PBs and winning performances in the Single Buck and Springboard saw Coffey pull away with Cherry content to take bronze in the final shake-up.

van Raemdonck sets national record to cruise into second place
Kamiel van Raemdonck went into the competition seen by many as the likeliest of the European contingent to challenge the traditional dominance of the North American and Southern Hemisphere. Setting a new national record in the Stock Saw, van Raemdonck finished in the top four of the five disciplines. His consistency kept his personal points tally ticking over, taking him to the silver medal in the final reckoning.

Agony for home hope despite promising start
There was heartbreak for home hero Nicola Trecarichi, who suffered a disqualification in the opening discipline in front of a feverish Italian crowd. He had the arena on its feet with a superb personal best performance in the Stock Saw, setting a time of 10.33 to finish in second, but it wasn’t enough to see him through to the next round.

Matt Coffey, 2024 Rookie World Champion: “There are a lot of feelings, a lot of happiness and joy. A lot of hard work has gone into this and it’s all come together. I felt good from the start, right from the Underhand Chop, and it all fell together after that.”

Kamiel van Raemdonck, 2024 Rookie World Championship runner-up: “I feel amazing, it’s an unreal feeling. I was really nervous for the Stock Saw because I needed a good time to make the second round – which I managed, setting a new national record. Ahead of the Springboard I wasn’t sitting in the top three, so I knew I had to go all-out to make it. I learned not to lose my confidence, stay relaxed and don’t focus on what the other competitors are doing, just look at yourself.”

Cleveland Cherry, 2024 Rookie World Championship bronze medallist: “I’m pretty happy with my result. My Stock Saw was bad and my Single Buck was terrible but I avoided a DQ which was the main thing and I’m glad to finish in third.”

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