Australia triumphs at the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® Champions Trophy in Austria
Aussie Brayden Meyer is crowned Champion of Champions in axe and saw
St. Johann in Tyrol, Austria, May 26. The 2016 winner of the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® Champions Trophy is 20 year old Australian Brayden Meyer. Meyer competed for the very first time in what is, by far, the toughest competition in the extreme sport of competitive logging. He fought hard throughout the day of gruelling competition against the field of seven other top athletes. Even record world champion, Jason Wynyard of New Zealand, had to admit defeat with the Australian taking about 1.08 minutes to cut up four wood blocks with the axe and saw. Second and third place were taken by Jason Wynyard of New Zealand and Marcel Dupuis of Canada.
Around 1,300 spectators followed the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® Champions Trophy live on the mountain plateau, 1,700 meters above St. Johann in Tyrol, Austria, when 20 year old Australian Brayden Meyer won the toughest competition in the extreme sport of competitive logging. Meyer will bring the ring of the champion back down under for the third time in a row having been won by Australian competitors previously. He outperformed the competition consisting of seven of the world's best TIMBERSPORTS® athletes. The superbly fit Meyer, who weighs 115 kg and comes from Broadford, near Melbourne, celebrated his win. He said, "The final was really tough but I got the ring! I've admired Jason Wynyard for many years. He's an exceptional athlete so I'm thrilled to get the result I did. Plus it's such an exciting event with everything televised live. What more could I want". The loser in the final duel, Jason Wynyard, congratulated Meyer. "Brayden deserved to win. The Champions Trophy can be compared with a one-hundred-metre sprint and Brayden simply showed more endurance today than me. I was affected by the altitude today more than I thought I would".
The best-placed European was Martin Komarek of Czechia who reached the mini-final after a close semi-final. Competing with the New Zealander, he lost valuable seconds due to a catching of the single buck. Komarek was defeated in the mini-final by the Canadian. He came fourth and pronounced himself satisfied: "I achieved my aim, to become the best European, and I succeeded to do so".
Meyer's victory in the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® Champions Trophy 2016 also decided a duel between generations. The 20-year-old Australian who, despite his young age has been taking part in this sport for 10 years now, dominated the competition from the beginning and left experienced top athletes from Europe and overseas trailing.
In preparation for the Champions Trophy in St. Johann in Tyrol, Austria, the Australian had followed a program of intensive training which matched the rapid Trophy format requiring a combination of strength and endurance. That paid off early on: Meyer took the lead already in the qualification and in the quarterfinal against Swiss Christophé Geissler. He maintained that standard in the semifinal against the Canadian Marcel Dupuis.
The final battle between Meyer - a two-times STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® team world champion, and Wynyard - a grandee athlete in logger sports and seven times world champion, was almost a dead heat with both men switching between the axe and saw disciplines at lightning speed. Finally, there was little more than a second between the competitors. The Europeans got the short end of the stick in this competition and had to be satisfied with places four to eight behind Australia, New Zealand and Canada: Martin Komarek of Czechia followed by Armin Kugler of Austria, then Frenchman Pierre Puybaret, Christophe Geissler of Switzerland and Dirk Braun of Germany.
The Champions Trophy competition format: Lose once and you are out
In the Champions Trophy the athletes compete against one another in knock-out rounds in four of the total of six STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® disciplines. All four disciplines are completed in a head-to-head duel, one after the other without a break. That's what makes the Champions Trophy the toughest contest in logger sports. The seamless transition from one discipline to another requires supreme stamina, precision and tactics and pushes the athletes to their absolute limits of performance. It starts with the chain saw discipline Stock Saw, which is followed by the axe discipline Underhand Chop and a round with the two-meter-long one-man crosscut saw in the Single Buck. Finally, the athletes have to give it their all yet again in the axe discipline Standing Block Chop, with hundredths of a second making the difference between victory and defeat.
Upcoming young loggers show what they can do the day before
The previous day the upcoming international young loggers showed their speed and skill in this sport with the axe and saw in the Rookie World Championship. This competition was won by the Canadian Ben Cumberland ahead of the Australian Andrew Kelly and Ben Kniceley from the US.