GRAFTON axeman Matt Owen wielding a furious axe at the Sydney Royal Easter Show.
GRAFTON axeman Matt Owen wielding a furious axe at the Sydney Royal Easter Show.

Matt slashes world mark

LESS than 19 seconds was all it took for teenager Matthew Owen to become a woodchop world record holder at the Sydney Royal Easter Show.

The former Grafton High School student blasted through the final of the under-18s standing block competition to win with the new world record time of 18.54 seconds.

It was a record which was always likely to fall to Owen's hungry axe.

“I nearly beat it in a heat when I got 20.9 seconds,” the 16-year-old said.

“My grandad helped me set up the block in the final and just told me to cut it well.”

And he did, shaving two seconds off Danny Staiv's 15-year-old record time of 20.7 seconds, to not only claim the world record, but also win the under-18 aggregate section.

Owen, along with brother Christopher, competed at the two-week long show in events such as tree felling, standing block and underhand.

Owen's world record follows closely in the footsteps of his brother's success at the Australian under-21 championships in Melbourne last year, where the brothers were an integral part of the Australian team which white-washed New Zealand in a three-Test series.

In the midst of such a hot streak it is surprising to learn Owen barely has a training regime.

“Whenever I feel like it I just go out back and a chop a block off and see how long it takes me,” he said.

“I go to local shows because competition is the best training.”

Owen, who is a fourth generation woodchopper, hopes to make the transition from the national circuit to the international stage.

“I would like to go to the world titles in Sydney then after that, perhaps compete in the Stihl series in the United States,” Owen said.



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