Great Britain’s Tai Woffinden was over the moon to defy the bookmakers and two broken collarbones and seal the Speedway World Championship at the Torun Speedway Grand Prix of Poland on Saturday.
The 23-year-old started the evening needing just six points to secure the gold medal and tallied 10 points to end the season with 151 points. He finished the job off with a sublime victory in heat five and was aided by Torun Speedway Grand Prix winner Adrian Miedzinski, who passed Woffy’s nearest rival Jaroslaw Hampel for second place.
But Hampel bounced back to claim his second World Championship silver medal with 142 points, while Danish champion Niels-Kristian Iversen marked his return to the Speedway GP series after a four-year absence with bronze, scoring 132 points.
The night belonged to Woffy, though. Despite being written off by some before the season, not to mention breaking his collarbone twice, his combination of fitness, speed and sheer determination saw him become Britain’s first World Champion since Mark Loram in 2000.
“It has been an amazing season,” a delighted Woffinden said. “It hasn’t been an easy one, but I’ve put everything I can into my speedway this year and really made it happen. I’ve had two broken collarbones and I’ve come back from that fighting fit. To put in the performances I’ve been putting in all season was a great achievement.
“I got a wild card and I was 500/1 [odds to win] in January to win it. I know people who put 20 or 30 Pounds on me back in January. I think they’re going to be pretty happy.”
Woffinden’s title hopes suffered a setback at the Scandinavian Speedway Grand Prix on September 21 when he re-fractured the collarbone he shattered at the British Speedway Grand Prix in Cardiff on June 1.