RETIRED SWC WINNER SUNDSTROM SET FOR SWEDISH U21 ROLE
FIM Speedway World Cup winner Linus Sundstrom has opened a new chapter in his speedway career after joining Sweden’s under-21 coaching staff. Sundstrom (pictured right of the SWC trophy) hung up his kevlars at the end of last season after suffering two severe crashes – one in September 2019 and another in May 2021. The first left Sundstrom with a broken shoulder and leg as well as a concussion. The Avesta-born racer then suffered damage to seven vertebrae and required surgery after a Danish league crash at Fjelsted last season. The 31-year-old announced his retirement due to the effects of those falls, but Swedish governing body SVEMO confirmed he will not be lost to the sport. Sundstrom, who won the 2015 SWC with his country at Danish track Vojens, will hope to help the next generation of Swedish stars to glory. He will team up with under-21 boss Alexander Edberg to coach the under-21s, with Sundstrom’s 2015 gold-medal-winning team manager Morgan Andersson remaining in charge of the senior side. Edberg and Sundstrom will hope to get their first opportunity to test their coaching skills on the world stage in the FIM Speedway of Nations – SON2 event for the sport's top under-21 teams on Friday, July 29 in Esbjerg. The event is part of an epic week of racing, which also sees the Danish seaside city host the FIM SON Semi-Finals on Wednesday and Thursday, before the FIM SON Final takes place on Saturday, July 30. Sweden finished seventh in last year’s FIM Team Speedway Under-21 World Championship Final in Bydgoszcz and will be keen to improve on that performance if selected for the SON2 meeting this summer. On announcing his retirement, Sundstrom confirmed his passion for the sport still burns bright, even if his body will no longer allow him to take to the track. Posting on Facebook in November, he wrote: “After two really tough and complicated injuries in a short time, I have now come to a point where the body says no. “I'm still far from recovering from the back injury I suffered in mid-May when I underwent surgery. I am reminded daily of the back injury in combination with the shoulder and femur injuries from the accident in September 2019, so I feel that it's time to put an end to my speedway career. “The head doesn't really feel finished, but the body is more than done. I feel no great bitterness, but mostly gratitude that the single penny landed on the right side with my back injury, and that I got to live my childhood dream fully for the past 15 years. “I want to thank my family, partners, clubs, team mates, supporters, mechanics and everyone else who helped me in one way or another throughout the years, without your support, this would never have been possible! “I have no roadmap of what life will look like after speedway, but I am excited and curious to see what the future will bring!” That future is now starting to emerge and we wish Linus well in his new coaching role.