Saturday 4th November 2023 – Jamie Head claimed the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® Individual World Championship to give Australia a double gold for the second year running, as ‘The Original Extreme Sport’ closed out a phenomenal weekend of elite logger sports axe-tion in Stuttgart, Germany. Another sell-out crowd of 6,500 fans at the packed Porsche-Arena made their voices heard as Head sawed to victory.
Jamie Head ended an enthralling night of competition in the Hot Seat – and therefore atop the medal podium – after a final round of the highest drama. After leaping to the top of the leaderboard with a Hot Saw time of 5.66 seconds, Germany’s Danny Martin was overtaken by Sweden’s Emil Hansson by a single point. A disqualification for USA’s Jason Lentz for cutting the line, followed by an unsuccessful appeal, left fans in the sold-out Porsche-Arena on the edge of their seats with Head the last athlete to take to the stage. Head secured the win under immense pressure with a time of 8.40 enough to earn him six points and his second gold medal of the weekend, leaving Hansson and Martin to settle for silver and bronze respectively. After Australia won a thrilling team competition on Friday night, the individual event saw the 12 best logger sports athletes in the world battle it out across all six of the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® disciplines: Underhand Chop, Stock Saw, and Standing Block Chop, Single Buck, Springboard and Hot Saw.
Head caps impressive night by winning title in first individual international competition
After posting solid scores of seven and six points in the Underhand Chop and Hot Saw respectively, Head’s victory was built on an incredibly strong middle four disciplines of Stock Saw, Standing Block Chop, Single Buck and Springboard, where he finished in second, third, first and first place. The highlight for him was the Single Buck, where he set a new national record during a round in which the field really brought their A game: all but one of the remaining eight athletes scoring a personal best, with Hansson, Martin and Koen Martens (Belgium) joining Head in setting national records.
The end of the round saw Pierre Puybaret (France), Ben Cumberland (Canada), Martin Roušal (Czech Republic) and Redmer Knol (Netherlands) depart the competition as the four lowest-ranked athletes after the third discipline. Cyril Pabst (Switzerland) and Jack Jordan (New Zealand) followed suit after the Springboard to leave the six athletes with the highest points left to battle it out for the medal positions in the final discipline.
Hansson, who grew into the competition with increasingly impressive scores, secured his first ever podium finish at a World Championship. He was joined by Martin, who was roared on by a passionate home crowd to Germany’s first individual world medal since 2010, as the European athletes staged an impressive challenge to the traditional dominance of the overseas nations.
Individual World Champion Jamie Head commented: “I’ve been in TIMBERSPORTS® for a long time, I’ve done the hard yards and so it‘s nice to go home with the gold medal. I came here with the intention of winning and I’ve done a lot of training, so I thought I had a good chance. Coming home with a double gold is a feeling I never expected to have – I think my kids and family will be very happy when I get home with the goods!
“The crowd here in the Porsche-Arena is the best, it’s crazy. You never hear a crowd like that anywhere else in the world. We all love coming here – it’s a long way for us but it’s all worthwhile when you get crowds like that.”
Sweden’s Emil Hansson, who finished as runner-up, said: “I had a rough start with the Underhand Chop but then I fixed it up and did a pretty good Single Buck, Springboard and Hot Saw so I’m super happy with that. When I woke up this morning, I didn’t expect to finish on the podium. I’m so happy with second place and the silver medal.”
Germany’s Danny Martin, who won the bronze medal in front of his home crowd, added: “The atmosphere was amazing and it really pushed me. I felt very calm this morning which helped me to focus but once I got out there I loved competing in front of that crowd. I’m so happy to win the bronze medal and I hope it can help grow the sport here in Germany.”
Head’s triumph wrapped up a hugely exciting weekend in Stuttgart, as 13,000 fans filled the Porsche-Arena across two nights of high-octane competition.
Full results and final standings for the Individual World Championship can be found on the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® database.