MATCH REPORT: Supreme Szymanski take Euro title

Marcin Szymanski won his second European Open title at Czestochowa last night, the venue of his first world title in 2007, with a first class performance at the age of 38.

It looked to be an excellent start for the two-time world champion, coming through to the front in heat one, his grid 4, after Michal Sassek dived Chris Timms on the third bend of the first lap, only for referee Wayne Aris to bring all four back.

The restart was less favourable as Timms robustly defended third place and the dream start turn to a nightmare with a crash for Szymanski going over the line into the final lap.

One of the pre-match favourites, Dawid Bas, gave himself a huge task after moving at the start of his grid one, and with Bartek Grabowski also dropping points in the first round of races, it opened up the draw.

Brits Andy Angell and Ben Mould took wins in their opening rides, with Mould making use of his second grid one to lead the meeting on 8 points after two races. Meanwhile, Marcin Szymanski got to work by delivering top drawer gating while others made mistakes.

The key race being heat 8, with Grabowski working hard to gate over Ashley Hill, which gave Szymanski a clean run around both riders and race away for a crucial second ride victory.

Meanwhile Remi Burchardt steadily went about his business, taking a win and two seconds from his first three rides, a tough fourth ride saw him pass Ben Mould for third place behind Grabowski and Kamil Bielica, who delivered consistent scores to bring him into contention.

Szymanski raced to two more heat wins going into his final ride, now joint leader with Bielica, after Grabowski couldn’t stop the impressive Bas in his final race, meaning a win for either Bielica or Syzmanski would take the title.

It was never going to be any other way though, with Szymanski on grid 2 on his home track, there was only going to be one outcome and he took a tapes to flag win for the title. Bielica fell at the final hurdle, running a last in the crucial race, which meant a run off for second, which Grabowski over Burchardt, which former world champion Grabowski won.

It wasn’t the most memorable final with a lack of atmosphere and a very dark finish due to poor lighting, but there were some good moments. Great Britain’s Andy Angell capped off a solid return to the international scene with some good passes. Mould needed a little more from his outside grids and could have made the podium. Chris Timms and Ashley Hill battled hard in a very competitive final with no quarter given.

In the end it was all about one man though, Marcin Szymanski, who at 38 still looks comfortable at winning big events, it could easily have been a 20 point maximum.

Marcin Szymanski 17, Bartek Grabowski 16, Remi Burchardt 16, Dawid Bas 15, Ben Mould 15, Kamil Bielica 14, Marcin Kolata 13, Andy Angell 13, Adam Bozejewicz 12, Szymon Kowalczyk 11, Ashley Hill 11, Chris Timms 11, Michal Sassek 11, Arek Szymanski 10, Piotr Jamroszcyzk 5, Pawel Cegielski 5, Richard Fellgett 2, Marek Pronobis DNR

Earlier in the day Jakub Kosciecha took a deserved junior title over Wojciech Malecki and Fraser Garnett, who had a run off for second. Ben Tinsdale finished one behind the podium for Great Britain, while one of the youngest competitors Lewis Brinkoff scored 13 points underlining his fine potential.

Macie Schmidt made a superb dive pass against Laura Watson to take the gold medal in a run off for the Women’s title. Ipswich’s Gemma Hill took the final podium place after a run off with Lucy and Michelle Whitehead.

Craig Marchant won the Veterans title on 19 points with fellow Leicester team mate Mark Whitehead just behind on 17. Dominik Rycharski was left to rue a first race exclusion in the Veterans final, after going through the card later. His 16 points was enough for a third place run off against Norman Venson and Steve Harris, which he duly won.

In the team event, Poland eventually ran out winners after being pushed close early on by England. In the end it was convincing for Poland who won 12 of the 20 races. Wales taking third spot over Ireland.

Poland 68
England 56
Wales 46
Ireland 27

It was more of the same in the junior competition, Poland took 11 out of 14 7-3 heat advantages over England and Wales, winning with a massive 93. England did enough to see off the Welsh pairings to take the silver.

Poland 93
England 67
Wales 45

Cover Photo by Waldemar Deska