EUROPE. There was another near-capacity crowd in Shadrinsk where the sun shone on spectators and on the Russian team who provided an additional faultless performance to see them retain their LUKOIL FIM Team Ice Speedway Gladiators World Championship. Having been unbeaten on Day 1 they continued to dominate the event and for the second successive year collected the gold medal without dropping a single point.
Star of the home team was world individual champion Dmitry Koltakov who added 12 points to his overnight score to take his total to 20. With strong support from colleagues Dmitry Khomitsevich and Daniil Ivanov the Russians completed a perfect meeting giving them a comfortable 10 point margin over second placed Sweden.
Both Ove Ledström and Niclas Svensson improved on their first-day scores and the Swedes should be satisfied to take a well-deserved silver medal against strong opposition.
Franz Zorn continued his improved form with two wins but was restricted by two disqualifications, one for crossing the inner edge and the other for dislodging a straw bale causing the race to be stopped. Partner Charly Ebner matched his seven-point score but the absence of injured Harald Simon proved to be the factor which limited the Austrians to third place.
Gunther Bauer scored two wins for Germany but was not able to lead his team into a medal position and Lukas Hutla scored all but two of the Czech Republic total of 20 points. Similarly, Matti Isoaho was the only success of the Finnish squad who finished at the bottom of the table with Nyronen clearly hampered by his injury from the previous day.
So, with Russian domination of this event confirmed, attention now turns again to the individual championship which continues next weekend in Togliatti.