INTRODUCTION: Ice speedway -- and, in Moscow, some of the world's top riders have been taking part in semi-finals for the individual world championship.
GV Central Lenin Stadium.
SV & GV Start of second heat as competitor looks on. (2 SHOTS)
GV Second heat continues, riders go round final bend, with Sergei Tarabanko first past flag.
SV Eric Stanlund (No.6) rides onto track.
GV Heat in progress, with Tarabanko finishing third.
GV Riders waiting at side of track.
GV Boris Bratchikov (No.7) winning heat. (2 SHOTS)
SPORT: ICE SPEEDWAY
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Ice speedway -- and, in Moscow, some of the world's top riders have been taking part in semi-finals for the individual world championship. The eight overall winners will compete for the title in Holland next month.
The temperature was below zero, but that didn't spoil the excitement of the crowds at Moscow's central Lenin stadium. Riders from Austria, West Germany, Finland, Czechoslovakia, Sweden and the Soviet Union were taking part. Perhaps best-known was the many-times Soviet world champion, Sergei Tarabanko.
In this second heat, Tarabanko was first past the flag, making him the second overall winner in the semi-final.
Eric Stanlund of Sweden. Aged eighteen, he took up the sport only four months ago. But he's considered the rising young star of the competition, and gathered enough points to enter the final.
It's easy to overturn in this icy sport, and the riders use specially-designed bikes with studded tyres.
Boris Bratchikov of the Soviet Union, who won this heat, was the overall winner of the semi-finals, with a total of 27 points. Among other intrepid racers to reach the final were the Russians Tarabanko and Sergei Yaravoi, and, of course, young Eric Stanlund, whose skill surprised even the experts.