Danny King column: Fun at the World Games. Don’t blame the tactical ride rule and what a shambles of a transfer deadline idea.
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
In the Danny King column this week: World Games – fun and games. Our Edinburgh cock-up! Not a good day for the Club
Well, I’ve taken part in the World Games!
It was all a bit of a shock as I got a last-minute call up to represent Great Britain in Poland, but do you know what? I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
The 2017 World Games have just finished and were a major international multi-sport event in Wroclaw, meant for sports or disciplines, or events within a sport, that were not contested in the Olympic Games - and of course that includes speedway.
I got a call from Alun Rossiter, the GB boss, on Wednesday night to ask if I would ride.
You may also want to watch:
I said if I could get everything sorted, of course I would.
The trouble was, there was a lot to sort.
- 1 Matchday Recap: Plenty of positives despite Palace defeat
- 2 How bride paid £1 for vintage wedding dress
- 3 Eagle-eyed plane spotter saves pilot's life
- 4 Machinery to be sold following the loss of 'passionate' farmer
- 5 How the Ipswich Town players performed in their friendly clash with Crystal Palace
- 6 7 pretty villages in Suffolk
- 7 Ipswich Town 0 Crystal Palace 1: Zaha makes Town pay the penalty
- 8 Leisure centre closes after travellers park up on site
- 9 Popular Southwold fish and chip shop for sale for £850k
- 10 Town coach on Palace display, fans' return, transfer business and Evans' absence
The flight to Wroclaw was via Munich which wasn’t too bad and was on the Friday morning after the Witches Thursday night meeting. I have bikes out in Poland and they were taken from Leszno to Wroclaw.
The only problem I did have was getting home!
With the Witches riding at Glasgow on Sunday and the meeting on Saturday night, it seemed a good idea to get a flight straight to Glasgow on Sunday morning.
However, the only flights I could find was from Wroclaw to Munich, Munich to Amsterdam and Amsterdam to Glasgow! And there was only an hour between the last two flights. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that is cutting it fine. I would only need a 15-minute delay somewhere and I wouldn’t be at Glasgow. So, I decided to scrap that idea and go straight from Wroclaw to Luton, arriving at 7.30am and then get Ritchie Hawkins to drive me to Glasgow!
So, with all that sorted I took off for Poland. And what a great time I had.
The stadium was packed and it was a brilliant experience. I eventually got a ride in GB’s third heat and off gate four I made a great start, only to be pushed out by gates one and two. It was a shame because my bikes felt great.
Then, I touched the tapes in my next ride.
Damn, that was so frustrating. Fortunately I got a third ride and had a good second place. Again I felt fast and I just wish I had enjoyed more heats. But it wasn’t to be and Poland won the Games.
Incidentally, the last time speedway was in the Games was in Wimbledon in 1985... and guess who won? Yep, Ipswich’s Jeremy Doncaster and John Cook. I’ve even dug out the video for you on here. Never saw either race, but the Cowboys looks something else!
Back in Wroclaw we stayed in dormitories with loads of other sportsmen and women. It was a real carnival atmosphere with flags draped out of windows. I was so glad I said yes to doing it.
When I landed at Luton, Ritchie, my mechanic Richard and Chris Louis were waiting in the van as we set off for Glasgow. We got as far as Birmingham before we got the call it was off.
Just as well I did decide to fly to Luton, because if I had landed at Glasgow at lunchtime and the meeting was off, I would have had to get a train home!
Even Ritchie’s friendship doesn’t extend to coming to pick me up from Glasgow!
Sunday wasn’t Ipswich Speedway’s finest hour - to say the least!
What a mess. There’s no hiding from it. I just hope both lads can put it all behind them and kick on. They are both crucial to our hopes of success this season.
I did notice a tweet to Justin from one fan who told him not to worry, mess the Witches up and join a ‘bigger club’ next season.
I don’t remember the exact tweet, but I loved Justin’s response.
It was something along the lines of ‘a bigger club? What than Ipswich?... Sanders, Gollob, Rickardsson, etc.’ Nice one Sedge.
This transfer deadline day thing has been a disaster if you ask me. Riders being put out of work at the last minute.
Not good enough. I suggest a big re-think in the winter.
And isn’t it about time promoters and riders started working together in this country? We all have the same interests, to make speedway as big as possible, but we seem to work against each other.
Yes, the tactical ride was costly, but don’t blame that. We were 12 up. We threw it away.
I just don’t know what’s wrong with us. On paper we have a superb side and by the end of the meeting with our top five we should be so strong.
But we have done what we did last Thursday too many times and this time it really cost us.
Glasgow tomorrow night then and it is just the sort of meeting we need after the week we have had the the club.
We need to all stick together and show how much we want this.
I read Sedge’s interview and he was right, we have to now just get on with it. After the week he has had they are top words from someone who hasn’t been treated well. But he wants to win and I know the fans will give him and Connor an extra good reception tomorrow.
On Sunday, it’s the Championship Fours at Peterborough.
It was set to be five-rider races, but now it’s four thank goodness.
I would have ridden if we had to, but there is no way I would have been happy riding with four other riders in the heat. Blimey! The sport is dangerous enough as it is.
But the Witches will be going to win and I’m sure there will be plenty of Witches fans in the crowd.
But first we need to be the league leaders, Glasgow tomorrow night.
It will not be easy, but we are all up for it.
See you at Foxhall and don’t forget to ask for autographs, we are always happy to oblige.
AS TOLD TO MIKE BACON