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SGP STAT SUNDAY | CHAMPION NATIONS

In this week’s SGP Stat Sunday feature, we look at champion nations in the year Russia won the Monster Energy FIM Speedway of Nations.

16 / 12 / 2018, 12:00

In this week’s SGP Stat Sunday feature, we look at champion nations in the year Russia won the Monster Energy FIM Speedway of Nations.

Their triumph at Wroclaw in June not only made them the first winners of the brand-new world pairs championship, it was also the country’s first world title of any kind.

The closest the nation had ever come to gold was four silver medals in the old World Team Cup Final between 1964 and 1975. USSR star rider Igor Plechanov also finished runner-up in back-to-back World Finals in 1964 and 1965.

Their closest brush with gold since the seventies was an SGP bronze medal for Emil Sayfutdinov in 2009 and third place for Team Russia at the FIM Speedway World Cup Final in Malilla in 2012.

When Sayfutdinov, Artem Laguta and Gleb Chugunov triumphed at the Olympic Stadium, it didn’t just make history for Russia; it also saw them become only the eighth nation in history to be crowned world champions in team and/or pairs events – joining Poland, Denmark, Great Britain, Sweden, USA, Australia and New Zealand.

Since the SWC was launched in 2001, only eight-time winners Poland, Denmark, Sweden and Australia got their hands on the Ove Fundin Trophy before it was replaced by the Monster Energy SON this year.

So Russia’s triumph truly cements their status among the sport’s superpowers as they prepare to host the 2019 Monster Energy SON Finals in Togliatti on July 20 and 21, when they will fancy their chances of lifting title No.2.

But could there be another Russian world title win next summer as Laguta and Sayfutdinov chase individual glory in the SGP series?

Sayfutdinov already has two World Under-21 titles to his name, but he is determined to bring home sport’s biggest prize to St Petersburg. Meanwhile, Laguta showed huge promise as he returned to the SGP stage after seven years away, finishing sixth overall.

Riders from eight different nations have been crowned speedway world champion – Sweden, Denmark, New Zealand, Britain, USA, Australia, Poland and Germany.

Can Russia make more history next October and add the world’s biggest country to this prestigious list?

 

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DUDEK COOL AT THE TOP

World Championship leader Patryk Dudek isn’t getting carried away after taking top spot in the World Championship standings in Prague.

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KOLODZIEJ’S WINNING MENTALITY

Polish star Janusz Kolodziej buoyed by first-ever FIM Speedway Grand Prix win at ANLAS Czech SGP in Prague.

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KOLODZIEJ TAKES MAIDEN SGP WIN IN PRAGUE

Janusz Kolodziej wins the ANLAS Czech Republic FIM Speedway Grand Prix. Leon Madsen comes 2nd with Patryk Dudek 3rd

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MADSEN'S PRAGUE EDUCATION

Danish ace Leon Madsen admits his debut appearance in Prague is the chance to gain experience in his quest for World Championship gold.

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FINAL FLOURISH FOR LAMBERT?

British champion Robert Lambert hopes to take the next step on his FIM Speedway Grand Prix journey and reach the ANLAS Czech SGP final.

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LINDBACK STAYS COOL IN PRAGUE HEAT

Sweden’s Antonio Lindback tops ANLAS Czech Republic FIM Speedway Grand Prix qualifying time charts.

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VACULIK’S HOME FROM HOME

Slovakia’s Martin Vaculik eyes Prague glory at ANLAS Czech Republic FIM Speedway Grand Prix on Saturday.

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ANLAS CZECH SGP | WHERE TO WATCH

Can’t make the ANLAS Czech SGP? Here are some of the places you can watch Friday's qualifying and Saturday's meeting on TV and online.