2017 FIM Team Ice Speedway Gladiators World Championship
Team Manager: Ivan Ivanov
Riders: Dmitry Khomitsevich, Igor Kononov, Dmitry Koltakov
ICE COOL RUSSIANS REMAIN IN CONTROL
Igor Kononov joined up with last year's FIM Team Ice Speedway Gladiators World Champions Dmitry Khomitsevich and Dmitry Koltakov to successfully defend Russia's crown at the 2017 final event in Inzell, Germany. Kononov is the latest ice racing talent to emerge from the Russian production line and along with his more decorated teammates the trio finished the meeting without dropping a single point to the opposition.
The race formula involves seven teams of two riders plus a reserve and nations ride as pairs throughout the event to encourage team riding. During the two-day event teams meet each other twice and this system benefits the weaker nations who can more easily field two riders of world class to compete with the Russians and generates interesting competition for the lower places.
The Austrian team, weakened by the withdrawal of Harald Simon, were second thanks once again to the individual efforts of Franz Zorn, who took 30 points in the meeting’s best individual performance and was well assisted by Charly Ebner.
Despite an excellent first day, Germany failed to consolidate despite the gallant efforts of veteran Günther Bauer who was beaten only by Zorn in a tense Heat 33, a result which saw the end of the home team’s silver medal hopes. Their consolation was their first bronze medal for eight years.
And so Russia registered their 35th win in this competition and it will take a strong ice speedway nation to dislodge them from their position on top of the sport.