Poland regained their crown as World Champions following one of the most intriguing World Cup finals that the sport has seen in recent years.
The Poles were taken to a last heat decider with Denmark as both sides sat level on points following a terrific scrap between the nations throughout the night. Jaroslaw Hampel and Michael Jepsen Jensen took their place in the final heat with the destination of the trophy being, effectively, resting on a match race.
Hampel starred for the Poles on the night dropping just three points – all of which in his second ride when he ran a last – whilst Maciej Janowski also impressed with 12.
Australia valiantly battled throughout the night despite a weakened side as they managed 3rd whilst host nation Czech Republic relied heavily upon Ales Dryml as the finished on 12.
The turning point in the meeting came in heat 9 as Troy Batchelor got the better of both Janowski and Pedersen to claim six points, as he was nominated on a joker ride – without which the Danes would have won.
Further controversy sprung in heat 17 as Lukas Dryml was excluded when he was clipped by Kenneth Bjerre entering turn 3 on lap 1. Bjerre lifted heading into the bottom bend only to hit Dryml with his dirt deflector and cause the Czech to fall. The rerun though saw Bjerre run a last as Darcy Ward took the win ahead of Kasprzak and Bjerre himself.
Nicki Pedersen continued his fine form with a win in heat 18, however when Maciej Janowski won heat 19 ahead of Niels Kristian Iversen – who top scored for the Danes on the night – it left both sides level on points with one race to go.
The heat was pulled back as Troy Batchelor appeared to move when under orders. The rerun saw Hampel make the start and control the race from there as Jepsen Jensen’s efforts of battling from 4th to 2nd were all in vain.
Hampel’s heroics means Poland regain their crown for the first time since 2011, and means they have been World Champions in four out of the past five years.