Zenon Plech

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Zenon Plech
Zenon Plech 310376.jpg
Personal information
Nationality  Poland
Date of birth (1953-01-01) January 1, 1953 (age 61)
Place of birth    Zwierzyn, Poland
Current club information
Career status Coach
Coach Polonia Bydgoszcz
Career history
Gorzów Wlkp. (POL)
Hackney Hawks
Gdańsk (POL)
Sheffield Tigers
1970-1976
1976-1981
1977-1987
1981
Individual honours
Polish Champion 1972, 1975, 1979, 1985, 1986
Team honours
Polish League Champion 1985

Zenon Plech (born 1 January 1953 in Zwierzyn, Poland) is a former Polish international motorcycle speedway rider.[1] He finished third in the Speedway World Championship in 1973 and then runner-up in 1979.[2]

Career summary[edit]

Plech won the Polish National Championship five times (1972, 1975, 1979, 1985 and 1986) and runner-up twice (1981 and 1983). He also was a member of the Poland to third place in the World Team Cup in 1972 and 1981.

Zenon Plech's third place in the 1973 World Final at the Silesian Stadium in Chorzów, Poland was controversial. On the last lap of Heat 19, Soviet rider Gregory Khlynovski had attempted to pass Plech for the lead going into the back straight. As he was passed by the Russian, Plech lost control of his bike and fell. Despite protests from riders and the Soviet officials, and taking no other eye witness account into consideration, the referee assigned to the meeting by the FIM simply took Plech's word that Khlynovski had knocked him off his bike. England's Peter Collins was awarded the heat win, Plech was awarded 2nd despite not actually finishing the race, while another Russian, Valery Gordeev, was awarded third place despite also not finishing when he crashed into Plech's fallen bike.

The result of the two points he gained for second place allowed Plech to finish a clear third in the championship. The ruling, with Khlynovski excluded, should have seen Collins as the only point scorer as he was the only rider to finish, and Plech scoring no points after failing to finish. This would have resulted in Plech only finishing the championship on 10 points and in a 5th place tie with Khlynovski. Had the Russian not been excluded and had been awarded the heat win as many, including World Champions Ivan Mauger and Ole Olsen, believe should have been the case, he would have ended on 13 points. This would have put him in the run-off for the title with winner Jerzy Szczakiel (Poland) and defending champion Mauger.

He rode for Hackney Hawks between 1976 and 1981 (while also taking time off from speedway after being drafted into the Polish Army which ended in early 1979), and briefly for Sheffield Tigers in the British League.[3]

World Final Appearances[edit]

Individual World Championship[edit]

World Pairs Championship[edit]

World Team Cup[edit]

After retirement[edit]

Plech became was the coach of clubs from Gdańsk, Gorzów Wlkp. and Wrocław. He was a manager of Polish national team which finished second in the 2001 Speedway World Cup Final behind Australia at Wrocław's Olympic Stadium. He is now the coach of Polonia Bydgoszcz and Wybrzeże Gdańsk U-16 team.

Plech is also a speedway commentator for Polish television.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Oakes, Peter; Mauger, Ivan OBE, MBE (1976). Who's Who of World Speedway. Studio Publications (Ipswich) Ltd. ISBN 0-904584-04-6. 
  2. ^ Bamford, R. & Shailes, G. (2002). A History of the World Speedway Championship. Stroud: Tempus Publishing. ISBN 0-7524-2402-5
  3. ^ Fenn, C.(2003). Hackney Speedway, Friday at Eight. Stroud: Tempus Publishing. ISBN 0-7524-2737-7

External links[edit]