Kiwis out to even the score

Robert Dowling
Robert Dowling
Southland's Robert Dowling is hoping he can help New Zealand emerge ''top of the chops'' in Europe early next month.

Dowling (32) has been selected in the New Zealand team to contest the timber sports world championship in Prague from November 1-2.

Last year's tournament was in Liverpool and the Australian team won for the sixth time, setting in a world record in the semifinals.

Either Australia or New Zealand has occupied the top step of the podium and New Zealand is determined to snatch the title back.

Dowling, who hails from Tuatapere, will be joined Kyle Lemon (Rotorua), Kahu Woolley (Taumaranui) and the Jordan brothers, Shane and Jack, from Stratford.

The team will assemble for a two-day training camp in Napier later this week before leaving for the Czech Republic.

The teams compete in a relay across four events: underhand chop, stock saw, single saw and standing chop.

Dowling will contest the single saw leg. It is about 10 seconds of work to slice through a log if the timber is on the softer side.

''It feels like a lot longer, though,'' he said.

Dowling won the single saw at the nationals in Hamilton in June, so he has form.

''We normally do pretty well. We beat Australia in the time trial last year but had injury trouble and ended up getting knocked out in the semifinal, so we didn't get a chance to have another crack at Australia.

''We'll be looking to even the score with Australia this year.''

The event will feature more than 100 athletes competing in teams of four.


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