Speedway World Cup final heartbreak for King’s Lynn Stars’ Danish ace Niels-Kristian Iversen

Niels-Kristian Iversen was gutted about the way his World Cup campaign ended. Picture: Ian Burt.

Niels-Kristian Iversen was gutted about the way his World Cup campaign ended. Picture: Ian Burt. - Credit: IAN BURT

King's Lynn Stars' Niels-Kristian Iversen was left gutted after Denmark were pipped to the Speedway World Cup title by Poland following a thrilling last-heat decider.

The Danes had looked on course to retain their crown in Prague, Czech Republic, until ex-Lynn rider Nicki Pedersen suffered an engine failure in heat 16. His last, while the Poles' Jarek Hampel picked up a double-points six for his win as a tactical joker, ensured a nerve-shredding climax to the meeting.

And that excitement continued right until the very last race of the night when Hampel finished in front of Michael Jepsen Jensen to see Poland pick up gold by just one point.

Iversen, whose side were unable to use a joker because they were never at least six points behind the leading team at any point on Saturday, said: 'We knew it was going to be close in the end but they (Poland) played their joker really good and what can you say? We slipped away.

'It's disappointing. We were the only team not to play the joker. We finished one point behind and we didn't (have the chance to) play it. But that's the name of the game and congratulations to Poland, I think they deserved to win as well.

'We'll be back, that's for sure. But it's disappointing right now. Silver is not gold and we were here to win it.'

The triumph was Poland's six in nine years and prevented Iversen from winning his fourth World Cup title. Australia bagged a bronze while the hosts finished fourth.

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