LINDGREN LEADS SWEDISH SIDE

PAUL BURBIDGE

FIM Speedway Grand Prix star Fredrik Lindgren will lead Sweden’s national side once again after their 2022 squad was revealed.

World No.5 Lindgren missed last year’s FIM Speedway of Nations Final in Manchester as he battled the effects of long Covid, but has been named on team manager Morgan Andersson’s list for this year.

Former Speedway GP regulars Oliver Berntzon, Peter Ljung and Tomas H Jonasson make the list, along with double Swedish champion Jacob Thorssell and former Speedway GP wild cards Pontus Aspgren and Kim Nilsson.

Antonio Lindback also featured in the squad, but his spot could be in doubt after he was dropped by Swedish club Masarna for a “violation of club policy”.

Victor Palovaara and Filip Hjelmland complete the senior squad, and Andersson has the option to select other riders if he wishes ahead of the FIM SON at Danish coastal club Esbjerg from July 27-30.

Nations must narrow their wider lists down to a five-rider squad, before selecting two starters and one reserve for each event.

The Swedes have also named their under-21 squad, headed by the sensational Philip Hellstrom-Bangs. He stole the show when he flew the Swedish flag alone at the FIM SON Final last October, covering for injured duo Thorssell and Aspgren, who crashed out of the weekend in their second ride.

The Manchester crowd roared on the Masarna shooting star as he took the fight to the world’s top riders, nearly beating Aussie icon Jason Doyle, Great Britain hero Tai Woffinden and Polish ace Maciej Janowski in some astonishing battles, which did see him get the better of 2021 Poland’s World Under-21 champion Jakub Miskowiak.

Hellstrom-Bangs could get the chance to star in Esbjerg on Friday, July 29 at SON2 – the revamped FIM Team Speedway Under-21 World Championship.

He is joined on Sweden’s under-21 list by Noel Wahlqvist, Casper Henriksson, Gustav Grahn and Ludvig Selvin.

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