Speedway

Australia races into World Cup final

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Australia has clinched a spot at the 2007 Speedway World Cup final in Poland on Saturday, after earning a hard fought win at the Race-Off on Thursday evening. In a tight tussle all evening with Poland, the Australian‰Ûªs gained the upper-hand on the night in the final race where Leigh Adams nailed all three points with a wonderful race win. It was captain Adams, along with current World Champion Jason Crump, who guided the Aussies to victory, proving throughout the night why they are both so highly regarded on the international Speedway racing scene. Adams‰Ûª 13 points (four wins and a third) and Crump‰Ûªs 14 points (four wins and a second) helped Australia amass 53 points in total, to finish one clear of Poland (52), and well clear of Sweden (40) and Russia (7). The Australian‰Ûªs got off to a spectacular start, with Ryan Sullivan taking a win in the opening race of the night and Chris Holder taking two points in the second race. Adams and Crump then made it 11 of a possible 12 points through four heats, when both took leads at the opening corner after starting from the widest position to claim maximum points in races three and four. The Aussies were pegged back however with Rory Schlein unable to get into any sort of rhythm, and with third placings to Schlein, Holder and Adams leading up to the half-way point, things began to get tight. Indeed, after 13 races, Australia led the way on 25 points with Poland and Sweden tied one point behind on 24. The Australians briefly left the track for a team meeting, and came back with a steely resolve which suggested they meant business. They say that champions rise on the grandest of stages, and when better for Crump to come to the fore - and come to the fore he did, in a big way. In race 14 while coming third, Crump pulled of the move of the night when he passed the front two riders three-wide, to race to victory ‰ÛÒ a move which seemed to spark his team-mates into action. Schlein followed on where Crump took off and stole a second placing to give the Aussies some breathing space, and Adams then played his part by winning his next heat. But the Aussies were again pegged back by the Poles, and heading into the final race the scores were all square. It was then that captain Adams put his hand up and won his final race to send the Aussies through to the final, where along with Poland they will meet Denmark and England. All of Saturday night‰Ûªs Speedway World Cup final action will be brought to you via the Motorcycling Australia website, so for all the news as it happens directly from Leszno, Poland, log onto www.ma.org.au. 2007 FIM Speedway World Cup Race-Off Results:
AUSTRALIA 53: Jason Crump 14, Leigh Adams 13, Ryan Sullivan 12, Chris Holder 8, Rory Schlein 6.
POLAND 52: Jarek Hampel 12, Tomasz Gollob 11, Damian Balinski 10, Krzysztof Kasprzak 10, Grzegorz Walasek 9.
SWEDEN 40: Fredrik Lindgren 13, Peter Karlsson 10, Jonas Davidsson 9, Mikael Max 5, Andreas Jonsson 3.
RUSSIA 7: Roman Ivanov 4, Danil Ivanov 2, Emil Sayfutdinov 1, Denis Gizatullin 0, Renat Gafurov 0.

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