Speedway: Woffy inspires Britain to silver (then gives away his medal!)

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Tai Woffinden led Britain to their first Speedway World Cup medal for 12 years at Manchester’s National Speedway Stadium tonight.

Woffinden was sensational as Britain took a surprise silver medal behind Poland, who won the competition for the sixth time in 11 years.

The 25-year-old scored 19 of his country’s 32 points as they finished ahead of Sweden and a struggling Australian team to take second place.


Woffinden needed stronger support from his three team-mates for Britain to topple Poland and win, but second place is an impressive result for a team that failed to make the final last year.

In front of a capacity crowd of around 10,000 in Manchester, Woffinden set Union Jacks waving as he romped to four wins and two second places, including the last-heat result that wrapped up the silver medal.

Woffinden then gave his medal to a youngster in the crowd after the presentation. He said: “That will make her happy for at least the next couple of weeks, which is better than me putting it under the stairs with all the others.”

The result was a proud moment for British team manager Alun Rossiter, who said: “It’s been a special day. Everyone wrote us off coming into this meeting and it’s special to prove them wrong.

"Tai has been a brilliant captain. He has taken some stick on social media this week, but that just goes to show the mentality of some British people and that frustrates me," added former rider Rossiter.

Woffinden came in for some flak when he skipped a team practice at the National Speedway Stadium earlier in the week, preferring to test on his own in Poland. But he proved that his methods work by scoring almost as many points on his own as the whole Australian team.

The Aussies finished back in fourth after losing impressive youngster Max Fricke to injury and struggling to gain any momentum after winning their final place in last night’s Race-Off.

Speedway World Cup Final. National Speedway Stadium, Manchester. Saturday, July 30

Poland 39

Krzysztof Kasprzak 8, Bartosz Zmarzlik 11, Piotr Pawlicki 10, Patryk Dudek 10

Great Britain 32

Tai Woffinden 19, Robert Lambert 3, Craig Cook 5, Danny King 5

Sweden 30

Antonio Lindback 6, Andreas Jonsson 8, Fredrik Lindgren 10, Peter Ljung 6

Australia 22

Chris Holder 10, Josh Grajczonek 0, Jason Doyle 7, Sam Masters 5


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Tony Hoare

By Tony Hoare

Former MCN Consumer Editor