||Last Updated: Mar 17th, 2015 - 22:32:52
Dmitri Koltakov celebrated his newly won World Championship with another impressive performance in the last round of the series before another capacity crowd in Inzell on Sunday.
Having secured the title in the previous round the pressure was released but he was in no mood to ease off and scored a further 19 points including a win in the Final to confirm his superiority with a massive 27 point margin over his nearest opponent.
Champion for the past two years Daniil Ivanov was left to blame his early season form for the loss of his title but battled back, racing unbeaten through the qualifying heats but surprisingly failing to pass the semi-final stage. Nonetheless his 16 points were enough to take him into the silver medal position ahead of compatriot Dmitri Khomitsevich who took third place for the fourth successive year.
Franky Zorn again confirmed his position as the best of the western riders, twice qualifying for the semi- finals and with a gritty 25 points over the weekend can be satisfied with a 6th place in the final table. Fellow Austrian Harald Simon did not have an enjoyable trip to Bavaria this year with only one heat win and two bruising falls to look back on during his short journey home.
The Germans were again disappointing on their home territory although Gunter Bauer nursing a foot injury improved on his previous dayís performance with a battling 8 points and a semi-final place. Weber and Niedermaier could gather only 3 points each whilst Stefan Pletschacher was unable to compete owing to the broken collar bone he suffered on the first day.
Stefan Svensson was again the best of the Swedes and took seventh place overall but Daniel Henderson was unable to reproduce his form of Saturday with only 5 points to add to his total. Per-Anders Lindstrom was again off the pace and had a meeting to forget.
The completion of another successful season sees a new champion crowned in a most emphatic way. At the beginning of the year his challenge had been threatened by a serious leg injury but he recovered to produce a season when he has qualified for every final and provided a champion worthy of the title.
As the Gladiators leave the ice to return to their homes and workshops, they will be looking for ways to improve, to be faster and to be ready for a new season. We shall look forward to seeing how well Koltakov defends his title in 2016, if Ivanov has the appetite for a renewed challenge and whether Khomitsevich can shake off that bronze medal habit. A prospect to relish over the summer months.
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