Saturday, July 16, 2011

Russian reinforcements

Russian sensation Emil Sayfutdinov will lead his country into tonight’s Speedway World Cup Race-Off at Gorzow.The Russians scraped through Event Two with a four-man team at King’s Lynn on Monday, but they have wheeled out the big guns in a bid to reach the SWC Final on Saturday night.Sayfutdinov is joined by Grigory Laguta, who has been scoring superbly for Czestochowa and Valsarna this year, and Bydgoszcz star Denis Gizatullin. Renat Gafurov and Roman Povazhny are the only two survivors from Event Two.This is the same Russian quintet which shocked the sport when they stormed to victory over Denmark, Sweden and the Czech Republic at Vojens in 2009 to reach the first SWC Final in their country’s history.But they will go into tonight’s meeting without any practice as the 12pm session was cancelled following very heavy rain in Gorzow overnight, which left the track requiring extra preparation work.Australia make one change from the side they tracked in Event One at Vojens on Saturday as Davey Watt replaces Rory Schlein.Three-time world champion Jason Crump, Aussie champion Chris Holder, World Under-21 champion Darcy Ward and the in-form Troy Batchelor keep their places.Team Great Britain boss Neil Middleditch has drafted in Lewis Bridger in place of former SGP star Scott Nicholls, who has opted to stay in the UK and look after partner Sophie, who recently underwent surgery.Grand Prix regular Chris Harris has made the trip to Gorzow along with fellow Cornishman Ben Barker, Edward Kennett and Tai Woffinden.Sweden are the only country to name an unchanged team after finishing second in Event One.They name three Grand Prix stars in Andreas Jonsson, Freddie Lindgren and Antonio Lindback. Jonas Davidsson and Thomas H Jonasson complete their line-up.The referee for tonight’s meeting is Jim Lawrence from Great Britain.SWC RACE-OFF LINE-UPSAustralia (Red)1.Davey Watt2.Chris Holder3.Troy Batchelor4.Darcy Ward5.Jason CrumpTeam Manager: Craig BoyceRussia (Blue)1.Grigory Laguta2.Emil Sayfutdinov3.Roman Povazhny4.Denis Gizatullin5.Renat GafurovTeam Manager: Stanislav KhanTeam Great Britain (White)1.Chris Harris2.Ben Barker3.Lewis Bridger4.Edward Kennett5.Tai WoffindenTeam Manager: Neil MiddleditchSweden (Yellow)1.Andreas Jonsson2.Freddie Lindgren3.Antonio Lindback4.Jonas Davidsson5.Thomas H JonassonTeam Manager: Bo Wirebrand
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Connor McGechan Jeremy McGrath Andrew McFarlane Brett Metcalfe Heikki Mikkola

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