Hero Niels-Kristian Iversen triumphs in big last-heat decider to win Speedway World Cup for Denmark
- Credit: IAN BURT
King's Lynn Stars number one Niels-Kristian Iversen was Denmark's last-heat hero as they lifted the Speedway World Cup on Saturday.
The Danes were level with holders, and hosts, Poland going into the last race of a thrilling final. With both countries tied on 35 points, the equation was simple. Whoever crossed the line first between Iversen and Janusz Kolodziej would lead their team to the gold medal. And while for three and three-quarter laps, the Pole was in the ascendency, Iversen powered past him on the last corner to break the hosts' hearts and leave the Danes delirious.
Iversen, whose men were runners-up last year but has now added a fourth World Cup winner's medal to his collection, told SpeedwayGP.Com: 'That was just insane. I just kept trying for all four laps. I was building speed up and I knew I was getting closer and closer. I don't think Janusz knew where to go in the end. I saw him look back a few times and I was just trying all the different lines. It worked out perfectly. We'd never managed to win in Poland before. It was close but we managed to do it. It was absolutely fantastic.'
The hosts had stormed into a daunting lead after four but Denmark and Australia improved to rein them in. Former Star Nicki Pedersen, who lined-up alongside fellow ex-Norfolk Arena man Mads Korneliussen, won while going for double points and from that point the Scandinavians were right in the mix, until Iversen's last-gasp heroics won it.
Australia bagged bronze while Great Britain, in their first final for four years, finished last.
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Denmark 38: Nicki Pedersen 17, Peter Kildemand 7, Mads Korneliussen 3, Niels-Kristian Iversen 11
Poland 37: Piotr Protasiewicz 9, Krzysztof Kasprzak 11, Janusz Kolodziej 6, Jarek Hampel 11
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Australia 36: Chris Holder 11, Darcy Ward 10, Jason Doyle 13, Troy Batchelor 2
Great Britain 16: Tai Woffinden 12, Simon Stead 0, Chris Harris 4, Danny King 0