The World Pairs Final 1972
On the 1st of June, the World Pairs Final was held at Boras in Sweden with the home country having two teams to cheer on. Team 1 was Anders Michanek and Bengt Jansson, who had qualified from the Western Semi-Final along with New Zealand by Ivan Mauger/Ronnie Moore and England's Ray Wilson and Terry Betts. Scotland, Australia, Denmark and Norway all missing out. Team 2 by Bernt Persson and Hasse Holmqvist were seeded direct to the Final.
A huge talking point was the performance of Poland's Zbigniew Marcinkowski. He won three of his six heats, downing the Kiwis in the process. Marcinkowski gated in his last heat but was overtaken by Holmqvist. Then the gutsy Pole hit a pothole and crashed. This pothole that developed was well known by Ronnie Moore who had also hit it but managed to hang on. But instead of the 5-1 over Sweden 1, Ronnie came in last. He made sure to avoid it in his last heat.
Victory for Sweden 2 was only a 5-1 away in their last heat BUT, England reversed the order much to the dispair of the 'home town' pair. And it would not be the last time that year, Bernt Persson would miss a World Final Gold Medal by duffing his last heat !
With 5-1s for New Zealand and England in the last round, they tied on 24 points each. Mauger and Wilson would fight for the Gold Medals. If Ivan had any edge, it was the Kiwis 5-1 over the Poms in heat 7. Throughout the meeting, Ronnie Moore had ridden the inside, hence hitting the pothole. So before the run-off, he told Ivan, avoid it at all costs ! Ivan won the toss and chose the inside gate. What happened ? Ivan made the gate and, in his own words,
"In my excitement of thinking I was going to win the World Pairs Championship again with my hero, I stopped concentrating on exactly what I was doing and hit the pothole !"Did he what ! Ivan careered out of control, smashing into the fence. Wilson laid down fast but still he hit Ivan in the back. Mauger was in a bad way with broken bones in both wrists and that thump in the back did him no good either. So with Ivan battered, bruised and excluded, to claim the Gold Medals, Wilson had to complete the re-run solo. Ivan was able to stay for the presentation before a hospital visit. Ronnie did manage a smile but he was really spewing !!!
Consolation of some sort came for Bernt Persson by beating his good friend Anders Michanek in the Bronze Medal run-off.
1 Marcinkowski Stancl Holub Jastrzebski
1st England 24
2nd New Zealand 24
3rd Sweden 2 22
4th Sweden 1 22
5th Poland 15
6th CZ 12
7th Hungary 6
This article was first published on 3rd August 2014
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