STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® 2017 World Championships in Norway
Chopperoos Head North for the Fourth
The STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® series World Championships will chop and saw its way into Lillehammer, Norway on November 4th and 5th (Australian Time). The Australian Chopperoos will make the trip north as red-hot favourites to secure their fourth consecutive Team World Championship and an unprecedented fifth world championship in total. It's not only the Team World Title up for grabs however, 2017 Australian Champion Brad De Losa, will also be looking to claim his second individual crown, a feat he first achieved in Stuttgart in 2013.
Standing in their way are more than 100 top athletes from Europe, the United States and Canada but it's the team from across the ditch, led by none other than eight time, Individual World Champion Jason Wynyard who will once again be our Chopperoos biggest rivals.
The Chopperoos team will have a familiar line-up with De Losa being joined by fellow four times team World Champion Laurence O'Toole, three times Team World Champion Brayden Meyer and powerhouse Mitch Argent whose Standing Block prowess has been critical to claiming the last two gold medals. The team is rounded out by first time Chopperoo Glen Gillam who will bolster the team's depth in both the chopping and sawing events. For the first time ever Australia will also take their Rookie Champion Daniel Gurr to gain experience on the world stage ahead of his Rookie World Championship appearance next year, but who knows, he could also prove a secret weapon on the Stocksaw if required.
In the lead up to the competition the team will travel to Åsmarka, just outside of Lillehammer, for a 3 day training camp with the host nation Norway. The training camp is a chance for the boys to not only get over the jetlag, but also to test and hone their axes and saws to the softer European wood. Team captain Brad De Losa knows the importance of the training camp to making sure he and the team are ready for the tough competition. "Just like the Olympics, Rugby World Cup or any other World Championship, the conditions for travelling teams can play a major factor in performance. We've called on the hosts to arrange a venue that we think will give us the best possible preparation." De Losa stated.
The team competition consists of 4 STIHL Timbersports disciplines carried out one after the other in a relay style. Teams go head-to-head in a knockout system with the last team standing at the end of the night crowned World Champions.
In the lead up and during the early rounds the six Chopperoos will all be looking to impress Team Manager, Lee Gooch and Australian Sports Director, Shayne Maxwell, who have the tough job of selecting just 4 men for each round of the competition. "The team this year is looking like our best yet" Lee Gooch stated confidently. "We've got strength and depth across all four of the disciplines. All the guys qualified strongly at the Australian Championships and there are just hundredths of seconds separating them in the Stocksaw, Singlebuck and Underhand Chop. It's a great position to be in, but makes Shayne and my job a tricky one!" One selection that is almost certain is Argent's place on the Standing Block. Argent broke the Australian Record in his favoured discipline at the Australian Championship earlier in the month, a feat that sealed his spot on the team. However, Argent is not only eyeing the world title in Norway, he thinks the team competition world record, which is currently held by Australia (46.45 seconds), could fall. "The other teams are getting faster and faster. We have broken the world record each time in the team relay so I think we'll have to do it again to win gold in Norway," he said.
De Losa on the double
On Sunday November 5th Brad De Losa will be looking to add a second individual world title for the year to his trophy cabinet after taking out the STIHL Timbersports Champions Trophy in Hamburg, Germany back in May. De Losa, who'll be Australia's only entrant in the individual competition, will be facing off against athletes who like him, qualified for the World Championship by winning their national title. In a thrilling multi-round competition comprising six disciplines, the national champions will be leaving nothing in reserve in their quest to win the coveted crown of individual world champion. It is a title De Losa held in 2013 after his win in Stuttgart, Germany and one he is hungry to regain. The legendary Jason Wynyard of New Zealand triumphed last year at the World Championship but a back injury suffered at the Champions Trophy has affected his preparation and could see him less than 100% fit in his bid to retain the title. This year more than 20 athletes, including last year's runner-up Matt Cogar from the United States as well as top competitors from Canadian Mitch Hewitt, Czech Republics, Martin Komarek and Germanys Robert Ebner, will be going all out to dethrone Wynyard, the eight-time world champion and legend of the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® series.
The Chopperoos Team: Brad De Losa (Lithgow, NSW), Brayden Meyer (Broadford, VIC), Laurence O'Toole (Doncaster, VIC), Glen Gillam (Toongabie, VIC), Mitchell Argent (Blackbutt, QLD), Daniel Gurr (Deloraine, TAS).
Dates / Livestream
November 4, 2017, from 5:00 a.m. AEDST :
STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® Team World Championship
November 5, 2017, from 5:00 a.m. AEDST :
STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® Individual World Championship
All the championships can be followed via the livestream online as well as on Facebook and YouTube