The team world-championship of the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® Series is over: At the end of a thrilling competition in front of a cheering crowd of more than 2.500 spectators in the Håkons Hall in Lillehammer, the team from New Zealand stands at the top of the podium. The Kiwis secured their first championship title since 2013 against the surprise performance of team Poland thus ending Australia‘s victory spree, who landed on third place after a disqualification in the semi-finals. Canada, last year‘s runner up world champions landed a bittersweet fourth place.
The Håkons Hall in Lillehammer trembled last Friday night as the grand finale of the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® team world championship began. In front of more than 2.500 spectators, the team from New Zealand led a gripping, memorable but close final battle to victory. The team led by eight times world individual champion Jason Wynyard defeated the Polish team in front of an enthusiastic crowd and grabbed their fourth world championship title. On their triumphant road to the finals, the New Zealanders defeated teams from Great Britain, the USA and Canada. After demonstrating impressive times in the eight and the quarter finals, but in semi-finals the Kiwis made their stand: barely defeating the Canadians, who nonetheless beat their personal best time at 49,76 seconds, with a miraculous time of 48,36 seconds. "Congratulations to the Polish team, who have demonstrated their skill with a great performance. For us it was a long journey to come here – that‘s why it‘s great to return home with the trophy", said New Zealand‘s Jack Jordan after the victory. "We just wanted to leave the finals without making any mistakes – and we made it", his team colleague Jason Wynyard added.
Poland takes second place to Europe
The surprising upstart team of Poland secured second place. The Poles fought the competition of their lives and defeated the Netherlands, Czech Republic as well as the reigning champion and clear favourite, Australia, on their way to the finals. It was an exceptional performance from Poland, who competed with one athlete missing: For the four disciplines within the team competition they only fielded three athletes – Jack Groenwald did two parts of the relay and delivered the Stock Saw as well as the Standing Block Chop. "The championship was very tough for us, because our fourth man had dropped out on short notice. We had to adapt our strategy, but we had a good solution", said Krystian Kaczemarek. Only in the finals the Poles were narrowly defeated by the new world champions. Arkadiusz Drozdek was extremely happy about reaching second place: "It was impossible before for us to even reach the podium. We are extremely happy to have won the silver medal."
"Chopperoos" from Australia win in the small final – Canada lands fourth place
The big favourite from Australia reached third place and filled out the podium. Right up until the semi-finals the team from down under dominated the show and appeared to rise up to meet expectations. But then the team from Brad De Losa surprisingly received a time penalty due to an early start and lost against Poland. The Australians were then only left with the small final against the Canadians, who they furiously beat with the best time of that day of 47.85 seconds landing third place. The disappointment of the "Chopperoos" was nevertheless bigger. "We're certainly not happy about placing third, because we came here to win gold. There is no comfort, especially going out of the competition like this", complained Brayden Meyer.
The team from Canada arrived in Lillehammer as runner ups of last year's team world championship, but had to admit defeat in the semi-final against the future world champions from New Zealand. After they lost against Australia in the small final, only a bittersweet fourth place was left for one of the world's best teams led by Stirling Hart and Mitch Hewitt. The teams from the USA, Germany, the Czech Republic and Austria won the next rankings.