Sunday, February 19, 2017

KONONOV ON TOP AGAIN.

Foto: David Reygondeau/GoodShoot

Russia’s Igor Kononov took another major step towards a world championship gold with an impressive performance on the second day at Almaty. His unbeaten 21-point total secured him a fourth consecutive win and took him to within 2 points of the championship leader Dmitry Koltakov.



On a slightly colder day it was a covering of snow that greeted riders and officials on Sunday afternoon with some 15 cm covering the track. There was a good atmosphere in the stadium as around 6000 spectators returned to enjoy an afternoon of action racing. 
As expected, Daniil Ivanov was not able to take his place and now faces surgery on his injured shoulder but Niklas Svensson made a brave effort to ride. However, after falling in his first race his injured knee was clearly not strong enough and he withdrew from further action. 
Kononov was in superior form and his maximum included two confidence- boosting wins over Koltakov. Current champion Dmitri Khomitsevich slipped further behind and is in danger of losing touch with the leading pair.
Franz Zorn again showed his liking for the Medeo track by qualifying for his second final of the year and moves up to fifth place ahead of the unlucky Ivanov. Veterans Stefan Svensson and Günther Bauer lead the remainder of the chasing pack. 
Leading scores after Final 3:1. Dmitri Kolkatov (Russia) 105
2, Igor Kononov (Russia)) 103
3, Dmitri Khomitsevich (Russia)  94
4. Dinar Valeev (Russia 77
5. Franz Zorn (Austria) 62
6. Daniil Ivanov (Russia) 56
7. Stefan Svensson (Sweden) 44
8. Günther Bauer (Germany) 42 9. Ove Ledström (Sweden) 32
The Gladiators now have a two-week break from world championship action as the tournament moves to Western Europe with the next round in Berlin on 4th and 5th March.

Graham Brodie