Bittersweet results for Australia's Brad De Losa
BITTERSWEET RESULT FOR AUSTRALIA'S BRAD DE LOSA AT 2016 STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FINISHING JOINT 5TH
Just 24 hours after celebrating a world team title and two world records for Australia it was heartbreak for Brad De Losa in the individual competition at the 2016 STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® World Championship in Stuttgart, Germany overnight.
De Losa, 39, from Lithgow, NSW, was poised for a podium finish in the singles competition but hot pressure in the Hot Saw discipline put an end to his charge in a fierce battle between the world's top 12 woodsmen.
De Losa needed to set his fastest Hot Saw time for a podium finish but a devastating DQ from the referees in the final round ended a thrilling end to the competition, with De Losa finishing 5th overall.
The title went to New Zealand champ Jason Wynyard, his eighth world crown.
De Losa powered through six technically demanding disciplines - Stock Saw, Standing Block Chop, Single Buck, Underhand Chop, Spring Board and Hot Saw against the world's best and toughest axe men. De Losa said: "To come to Stuttgart and represent Australia in a physically and technically demanding sport is a great achievement. I may not have taken out the top prize but I'm close on the winner's heels and thrilled that I'm up there with the best in the world."
The Aussie champ enjoyed great success the night before with an outstanding win in the team competition, where the five-man Australian team won the world title setting two world records along the way. It was Australia's third world title in a row, the first three-peat in the sport's history.
De Losa was awarded the honour of representing his country in the individual competition by winning the Australian STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® Championship series, which was held across five events around the country throughout the year.
How De Losa's night unfolded
Round 1: Underhand Chop. De Losa settles into the competition with a blistering time of 16 seconds in his heat against Martin Komarek (CZE). Big guns Jason Wynyard (NZ) and Matt Cogar (USA) put on a show in the final heat with the Kiwi taking the win in a personal best time. With points awarded based on the best times, De Losa ends the round well placed in third.
Round 2: Stock Saw. A slight bobble on the start puts De Losa behind Cogar for the first of two disks, but De Losa brings it back with a quick change on the up cut for a time of 11.25. Komarek wins the round. The final heat between Wynyard and hometown hero Dirk Braun (GER) doesn't prove the spectacle it promises and neither can beat De Losa or Komarek's time. De Losa remains in third overall, a point behind Wynyard and two behind Komarek.
Round 3: Standing Block. De Losa lines up against Wynyard in the final heat. Seeing the other competitors chop, the softness of the wood is mixed. Cogar and Stirling Hart (CAN) finish first and second in personal best times. De Losa and Wynyard go for six hits in the front and six in the back but only Wynyard manages it, in a time slower than the leaders to finish third. De Losa is in striking distance of the title in equal fourth, just two points off the lead.
Round 4: Single Buck. De Losa, unbeaten on the Single Buck in Australia all year, can't quite match it with the best on the world stage. A time of 13.15 is enough to finish fourth but with double points in rounds 4 and 5 it gives winner Wynyard a big lead at the top.
Round 5: Spring Board. It's not De Losa's night. In the second heat he doesn't get a good bottom pocket costing him valuable seconds. He earns a good time of 45.96 but with four competitors to go is it enough?
Cogar smashes out a personal best time of 38.42 and Komarek cuts in 43.72. Hart then sets a new world record - 35.67. Wynyard takes second with a personal best 38.42. The round costs De Losa a shot at gold, sitting 14 points off the pace in fifth needing all competitors above to DQ for any chance of victory.
Round 6: Hot Saw. Braun the current world record holder is up first and powers through the discipline in just 5.48 seconds, .28 shy of his record. De Losa is up second and needs to hit the low 5s for the first time in his life for a podium chance. Turns out it's really not his night, missing the second cut twice and cutting the line on his third, earning a DQ from the referees. It's a confirmed joint 5th for the Aussie. Hart needs to put the pressure on Wynyard for gold with only a point between them, but the pressure gets to Hart. He can't get his saw started, rewraps the starter cord and goes for it but cuts out for a DQ. Wynyard just needs a safe cut for victory and does to win his EIGHTH world title.
THE FINAL RESULTS:
1. Jason Wynyard (NZ) 72
2. Matt Cogar (USA) 63
3. Martin Komerek (CZE) 60
4. Stirling Hart (CAN) 59
5. Dirk Braun (GER) 46
6. Brad De Losa (AUS) 46