Podium finish for young Rookie Blake Marsh


It was a close call for young Australian Blake Marsh (23) from Bellbird, NSW who came 2nd in the world at the 2017 STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® Rookie World Champion in Hamburg, Germany over the weekend.

Blake Marsh took on seven of the world's best up-and-coming STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® rookies
in a rigorous event, competing in four STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® disciplines, 2 with axes and 2 with saws –standing block chop & underhand block chop and singlebuck saw & stocksaw. The fastest time in each discipline was awarded the most points and the winner was the athlete with the highest points total at the end of the day.

Delays due to severe thunderstorms may have played a part, as before the weather delay Marsh had made a great comeback after finishing 6th in the Stocksaw he took 1st place in the Standing block to get him up to 2nd place overall.

Sweden's Ferry Svan was in the lead after two disciplines and Marsh needed to beat him in the single buck to claw back the points.

3rd place wasn't enough for Marsh as Svan took 2nd place to increase his lead to 5 points with only one discipline remaining, Marsh's favourite - the underhand chop.

The Swede went into the heat before Marsh and placed 4th with just the final to go. Marsh needed to take 1st place and hope the Swiss competitor finished ahead of the Swede for Blake to claim the 2017 STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® Rookie World Championship.

Blake won the underhand comfortably, but the Swiss competitor couldn't help him in his bid for victory.

Final standings:
1st: Ferry Svan (Sweden) 26 points
2nd: Blake Marsh (Australia) 25 points
3rd: George Williams (Canada) 25 points

Blake said, "It is disappointing but I gave it my all. I was feeling reasonably confident but I knew it would be such a hard competition. The best man won at the end of the day but I'm glad I had the opportunity to come here and do my country proud."

Blake's competitors were the best rookies from Sweden, England, the United States, Canada, Germany, Switzerland and France.

Marsh earned the opportunity to represent his country by winning the Australian STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® Championship late last year.

STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® Rookie athletes are the best in the sport, aged under 25 years.